Change Thought of the Week
Since 2007, employees at The Change Companies® have benefited from weekly ideas that encourage living a joyful life. With topics that offer tips for healthier eating habits, strengthening relationships and increasing daily activity, we think these weekly thoughts are too good to keep to ourselves.
You can find a new Change Thought right here every week. You also can subscribe to Don Kuhl's Mindful Midweek, a mid-Wednesday memo that includes our Change Thought, a "word of the week" and reflections on the benefits and practices of positive behavior change. Click any of the items below to see our past thoughts of the week.
May 20 - 26, 2013: Daily Affirmations
May 20 - 26, 2013
Sometimes when we’re stressed, we think negatively about ourselves. This kind of thinking can make stress feel worse! Instead, try focusing on positive things about yourself. Daily affirmations (saying things to yourself like, “I’m a good person”) can help you navigate stress. When stress weighs you down, it can be nice to remind yourself of all the reasons you’re a good person.
This week, I will think about things I like about myself and consider reminding myself of these things when I’m feeling stressed.
May 13 - 19, 2013: Summertime Snacks
May 13 - 19, 2013
Fruits and vegetables grow in abundance during the summer months. Try taking advantage of this growing season by including these foods in your diet. You might explore freezing fruits for a snack on a warm day. Foods like fruit can be sweet yet healthy additions to summer meals. Both fruits and vegetables also contain a lot of water, helping you stay hydrated and healthy.
This week, I will consider adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet. I will look forward to eating seasonal foods.
May 6 - 12, 2013: Pet Pleasures
May 6 - 12, 2013
Everyone has pet peeves, but have you stopped to think about your pet pleasures? Developing and growing more aware of pet pleasures can be a fun way to focus on the positive and be more grateful. Instead of devoting time to things that irritate you, consider focusing on things you enjoy. (For example, your pet peeve may be traffic jams, but your pet pleasure is rainstorms.) What delights you each day?
This week, I will consider focusing on a pet pleasure. I will take time to enjoy the little things that make my life more cheerful.
April 29 - May 5, 2013: Walking to Wellness
Walking to Wellness
April 29 - May 5, 2013
Exercise doesn’t have to be hard! “Vigorous” exercise, the kind that makes you sweat and gasp for breath, is sometimes a bit more intense than you’d like. Research shows that you can gain similar benefits from a much less intense form of exercise, as long as you use enough energy. For instance, to get the benefit of a 20-minute run, you may need to go for a 40-minute walk.
This week, I will consider a more relaxed form of exercise. I will enjoy the benefits of exercise without pushing myself too hard.
April 22 - 28, 2013: Smile at Stress
Smile at Stress
April 22 - 28, 2013
Feeling stressed out? Try smiling! Research has shown that smiling for a short period of time can help you feel more relaxed. The greatest positive effect comes from a genuine smile, but even a forced smile (holding a pencil between your teeth, for example) decreases stress. Who knows, trying a smile may even make you actually want to smile!
This week, when I experience a stressful situation, I will try smiling. Even if I don’t feel like it, I will look forward to the positive benefits of smiling.
April 15 - 21, 2013: Trips for Treats
Trips for Treats
April 15 - 21, 2013
Having trouble cutting back on sweet treats? Try taking indulgent snacks out of the house. Next time you want a treat, make it into an adventure. Walking to the store, for example, can help you burn calories and get exercise while you enjoy a small indulgence. By turning your sweet snack into an adventure, you can minimize the negative effects of indulging and maximize your enjoyment.
This week, I will try turning a small indulgence into an active adventure and reap the benefits of merging fun and health.
April 8 - 14, 2013: Playing with Pets
Playing with Pets
April 8 - 14, 2013
People have many different relationships in their lives. Often they are with other people, but sometimes some of our most valuable relationships are with our pets. Pets provide a number of health benefits, whether they belong to you or you are simply spending time with them. Spending time with your animals can help you relax and feel loved. Plus, taking time to play with pets is good for them, too!
This week, I will spend time with a pet. I will enjoy the benefits of sharing quality time with an animal.
April 1 - 7, 2013: Write about Workouts
Write about Workouts
April 1 - 7, 2013
Sometimes exercise routines can feel dull and your motivation can fall. Seeing how hard you’re working might give you some motivation. Try keeping a journal about your fitness routine. Record when you exercised, what you did, how long you did it and how you felt. Then, if you’re looking for motivation or ideas in the future, you will be able to look back on your successes and habits in the past.
This week, I will try keeping a record of my workouts. I will look forward to reviewing my progress in the future.
March 25 - 31, 2013: Shore Up Against Stress
Shore Up Against Stress
March 25 - 31, 2013
Stress is a part of life. Many stressors are unavoidable, and some stress in our lives can be healthy. There are a variety of ways to manage stress, but sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Taking care of yourself can help you weather stress more easily. Things like eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep can increase your resilience when stress enters your life.
This week, I will look at my habits and try making one adjustment to increase my resilience to stress before it happens.
March 18 - 24, 2013: Give Chocolate a Chance
Give Chocolate a Chance
March 18 - 24, 2013
Having a healthy lifestyle is good, but finding healthy rewards can be tricky. While not a health food, chocolate might be good for your heart in moderation. Some commercial chocolate varieties may be unhealthy. Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 65 percent or more can be a better choice when you want to indulge, and try to stick to three ounces or less in a day. Don’t forget to exercise, because this reward may come with extra calories!
When I feel the need to reward myself, I will try a responsible chocolate choice.
March 11 - 17, 2013: Weighing Water
March 11 - 17, 2013
How much water do you drink? For most of us, the answer is “not enough.” Water makes up about 60 percent of our weight. We’re always losing water, even by just breathing. Drinking more water will keep your body systems running smoothly and take up space in your stomach to keep you from overeating. Water keeps you hydrated and energized while you exercise. Try spicing it up by adding fruit or other flavors, or by trying tea!
This week, I will try to drink eight cups (about three 20-ounce bottles) of water every day.
March 4 - 10, 2013: Communal Conversation
March 4 - 10, 2013
Many people look back nostalgically on family dinner, but busy days can make sit-down meals hard. Research has shown that what makes these meals valuable is the roughly 10 minutes of personal conversation they provide. Making sure you get 10 minutes of conversation during a meal, snack or any time can help you build and maintain personal relationships with people you care about.
This week, I will devote 10 minutes each day to talking with people I care about. I will enjoy the benefits of spending time with others.
February 25 - March 3, 2013: Positive Attitudes
February 25 - March 3, 2013
Sometimes stress can feel overwhelming, but taking a short break to think positively may help you relax. When you’re feeling stressed, taking just 30 seconds to think about something you like can help slow your breathing and relax your muscles. Having a positive emotional attitude may help calm your heart rate as well, leaving you feeling more relaxed.
This week, I will try taking a 30-second positive attitude break to reduce my stress and improve my attitude.
February 18 - 24, 2013: Filling up on Fruits and Veggies
Filling up on Fruits and Veggies
February 18 - 24, 2013
One of the best ways to eat healthy is to make sure your diet is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, however, eating these healthy foods can leave you feeling unsatisfied. Try evaluating your eating habits. Are you simply craving the unhealthy foods you’re accustomed to eating? Or might you need to add protein or fat to your healthy eating regimen, such as beans and nuts?
This week, I will try eating more fruits and vegetables. I will think about and adjust my eating habits as necessary to eat healthier.
February 11-17, 2013: Learn What's New
Learn What's New
February 11-17, 2013
Certain active and observable steps toward wellness, such as exercise and nutritional eating, never seem to go out of style. On the other hand, when it comes to eating and exercising, we are subject to a constant stream of new facts and findings. Taking time to learn the latest information may help you in creating your own healthy action plan.
This week, I will learn one new fact about eating or physical exercise and think about how I might incorporate it into my healthy lifestyle choices.
February 4-10, 2013: Game Time
February 4-10, 2013
Regardless of who wins or what’s played, having a regularly scheduled time for games is a great way to bond with family members and friends. Games may be indoor or outdoor, one-on-one or part of a large group. You may even have several ongoing games at once: a half-finished jigsaw puzzle in one corner, a game of checkers or chess in another.
This week, I will schedule a game time with friends or family members. I will use this opportunity as a way to connect and communicate with those around me.
January 28 - February 3, 2013: Pick a Number
Pick a Number
January 28 - February 3, 2013
Sometimes, managing your level of stress is all about the numbers. The next time your daily activities and responsibilities start to feel overwhelming, consider assigning numbers to them between one and ten, where one means a small bother and ten means a true disaster. You may find that many of your day-to-day stressors have a lower number than you think.
This week, I will try using numbers to help manage stress, take appropriate action and keep things in a healthy perspective.
January 21-27, 2013: Synonyms for Sugar
Synonyms for Sugar
January 21-27, 2013
Words like “sucrose,” “glucose” and “fructose” all are talking about the same thing: sugar! Learning to spot these sometimes sneaky synonyms can help you better monitor how much sugar is going into your diet. Whenever you check the ingredient list of a food product, be on the lookout for sweeteners, syrups and other “added sugars.”
This week, I will raise my awareness of sugar synonyms and watch for where they might appear in my meals.
January 14-20, 2013: Envisioning Values
January 14-20, 2013
Deep down, what matters the most to you? What qualities and strengths do you admire in yourself and in others? In an ideal world, how would you want people to describe you? Answering questions like these for yourself can clarify your personal values. Having a clear set of values can help reduce stress and also aid in effective day-to-day decision-making.
This week, I will take some time to think about what my core values might be.
January 7-13, 2013: Give It a Rest
Give It a Rest
January 7-13, 2013
While a physically exhausting workout can feel good from time to time, there also are important benefits to giving your body the appropriate rest. Overexerting yourself during a workout can lead to injury and even harm your immune system. Pay attention to stiffness and soreness when exercising, and take regular breaks to give your muscles time to repair themselves.
This week, I will factor in the benefits of resting and replenishing from a workout.
December 31, 2012 - January 6, 2013: Resolution to Reality
Resolution to Reality
December 31, 2012 - January 6, 2013
January 1st is often the starting point for behavior changes. However, research shows that many who make New Year’s resolutions abandon them in just a few short months. One way to help make a resolution a reality is to do the grunt work of change. What steps will you need to take? What strategies can you use to work toward achieving your change goal?
This week, I will consider what steps and strategies will help me stick to the commitments I make.
December 24-30, 2012: Mosey Through Meals
Mosey Through Meals
December 24-30, 2012
Some meals seem to go by in a rush. In the bustle of daily life, we can end up eating more than we had planned, faster than we had planned. But if we slow down, we often eat less and enjoy it more. Adding things like low-volume music, soft lighting or friends and family can be a simple way to slow down and enhance your meals.
This week, I will make time to sit down and enjoy my food. I will take small steps to enhance my dining experience.
December 17-23, 2012: Holiday Self-care
December 17-23, 2012
Even though the holiday season is supposed to be fun, it is often stressful too. Setting aside some time for yourself during this busy season can help you manage holiday stress. Spending as little as 15 minutes by yourself, on a walk, reading a favorite book or just sitting quietly can be a perfect opportunity to slow down, reduce your stress and get back into the holiday spirit.
This week, I will take some time to take care of myself. In doing so, I will prepare for a fun and happy holiday season.
December 10 - 16, 2012: Take a Break from Routine
Take a Break from Routine
December 10 - 16, 2012
In our jobs and lives, we often find ourselves doing the same thing over and over again, many times without noticing the pattern we've fallen into. Spending a few minutes each day noticing your habitual routines, those things you do without thinking, and considering replacing those habits with something else altogether can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
This week, I will be mindful of my routines and attempt to break out of at least one to keep my mind and body fresh.
December 3 - 9, 2012: Positive Posture
December 3 - 9, 2012
How can you increase your belief in positive, personal statements, or “self-talk”? Try sitting up straight! Studies show that good posture increases belief in one’s thoughts. If you’re thinking positively, sitting up straight can actually boost your confidence in these messages. Having good posture also gives others a good impression of you, in addition to being good for your health.
This week, I will practice sitting up straight and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of good posture.
November 26 - December 2, 2012: The Spices of Life
The Spices of Life
November 26 - December 2, 2012
We sometimes crave bigger and more varied meals in the wintertime. Try adding different spices or healthy substitutes to your meals as a way to get extra flavor and variety without the extra calories. For example, you might try swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes, or meat for beans and lentils, as a hearty, healthy winter alternative.
This week, I will think of ways to spice up my diet and avoid winter overeating. I will enjoy the new varieties and flavors my food can offer.
November 19-25, 2012: Workout or Play-out?
Workout or Play-out?
November 19-25, 2012
For many children, playing and physical activity are the same thing. Adults, however, often see exercise differently. Many adults assume workouts have to be structured, and have to be “work.” But as long as you stay aware of your physical limitations, there’s a lot to be said for unstructured, free-form play.
This week when I exercise, I will try “playing” rather than “working out.” I will recognize the physical and mental benefits of unstructured, non-goal oriented fun!
November 12-18, 2012: Sleeping in Season
Sleeping in Season
November 12-18, 2012
Sometimes adjusting to the increasing darkness of the fall and winter seasons can be difficult for your body. Decreased hours of daylight can impact your sleeping pattern in particular. In order to better prepare your body for these seasonal shifts, try creating an evening routine that avoids electronics or other bright lights before bed.
This week, I will be aware of the artificial lights in my evening routine. I will work to create a healthy sleeping environment for the fall and winter season.
November 5-11, 2012: Stair-step Schedules
November 5-11, 2012
What is it about certain tasks that make them feel more stressful than others? Sometimes, thinking about a challenge or chore in its entirety is what leads to being stressed-out. In other words, thinking abstractly about what needs to be done can be overwhelming. Instead, try breaking a task down into manageable and measurable steps.
This week, I will practice thinking about my daily tasks in terms of the small steps I can take, particularly the steps I am ready to take right now.
October 28 - November 4, 2012: Check the Label
Check the Label
October 28 - November 4, 2012
Are you fact-checking your food? Most packaged food comes with a list of ingredients and nutrition facts. If you know what to look for, checking a product’s ingredients before you buy it can help you stay committed to eating healthy. For example, try to find products that list whole grains as the first ingredient.
This week, I will be aware of the labels on my food. I will let ingredients, serving size and other listed nutrition facts help me decide what I choose to eat.
October 22-28, 2012: Writing Wellness
October 22-28, 2012
You may have heard of the health benefits of personal journaling. The same can be true of creative writing. Forms like fiction, poetry and stream-of-consciousness can benefit both body and mind. Structured writing support is also available. For example, November is National Novel Writing Month, in which hundreds of thousands of people help each other write 50,000 words in just 30 days!
This week, I will find a form of creative writing and use my words to promote self-exploration and self-health.
October 15-21, 2012: Gifts of Forgiveness
Gifts of Forgiveness
October 15-21, 2012
As with other types of gifts, forgiveness can often benefit the giver just as much as the receiver. Forgiveness requires honesty and empathy, as well as a willingness to take ownership, where appropriate. When you offer to forgive someone else, you can experience health benefits like lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system and less stress.
This week, I will see if there are any grudges I’m holding that can be released. I will remember that when I gift forgiveness to others, I’m also giving a gift to myself.
October 8-14, 2012: Sidestepping Sickness
October 8-14, 2012
As cold and flu season approaches, simple, healthy choices can help you avoid an unwanted bug. Washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet can all keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
This week, I will consciously take steps to protect myself from a cold or flu. These steps will help me dodge a seasonal sickness.
October 1-7, 2012: Fall Cleaning
October 1-7, 2012
We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but what about fall cleaning? The changing of the seasons can be a great time to spruce up your living space, get rid of unneeded clutter, put away summer gear and dust off winter coats and blankets. Although these activities can feel like chores, you can also view them as a great way to help you transition from one season to the next.
This week, I will pick one fall cleaning task to do. As I complete this task, I will be mindful of and ready for the changing of the seasons.
September 24-30, 2012: The Power of Plants
The Power of Plants
September 24-30, 2012
Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, perhaps even without a window nearby. Lack of contact with nature can harm our mental and physical health, so one solution may be to bring a bit of nature inside with you. Potted indoor plants, for example, can decrease stress, minimize air pollution, increase oxygen levels and boost productivity.
This week, I will introduce a plant into my living or working space. I will enjoy the positive mental and physical health benefits that plants can produce.
September 17-23, 2012: Interval Exercise
September 17-23, 2012
Think you don’t have time for a workout? Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT)! Recent studies have shown that by alternating between intense bursts of exercise and a less-intense activity (like sprinting for one minute, then walking for one minute, for about 15 minutes total), exercisers get more of the positive benefits of a workout in less time.
This week, I will try an interval workout. As I rotate between high-intensity and lower-intensity activities, I will feel my body getting stronger, faster!
September 10-16, 2012: A Look in the Mirror
A Look in the Mirror
September 10-16, 2012
When trying to build inspiration or motivation, people often contrast themselves with others. Comparing yourself to other people, however, can often lead to an unfair judgment. Instead of using outside criteria, try focusing solely on personal standards. Constructive self-comparison can help you recognize your own progress.
This week, I will practice keeping my comparisons focused on myself. I will recognize where I have been, where I am now and where I want to go.
September 3-9, 2012: Mindful Eating
September 3-9, 2012
As our days become increasingly fast-paced and busy, so too can our eating. Often, we eat without being very aware of what or how much we are consuming. To counteract this, consider eating mindfully. This means slowing down and using all of your senses to savor and appreciate your food more intensely. Eating mindfully can help you eat less, and also enjoy what you do eat more.
This week, I will practice mindful eating. As I slowly savor my food with all five senses, I will feel more connected, full and satisfied.
August 27-September 2, 2012: Joyful Joking
August 27-September 2, 2012
The old saying “Laughter is the best medicine” may have some truth to it after all. Research has shown that laughter relieves tension and stress, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins and improves blood circulation. But how can you bring more laughter into your life? Try learning a new joke!
This week, I will learn one new joke and try it out on my friends and family. We will all enjoy the health benefits of a good laugh.
August 20-26, 2012: Staying Connected
August 20-26, 2012
Both our physical and our mental health are greatly influenced by those around us. Over the years, it’s important to make sure that when a circle of support grows smaller, we make the effort to strengthen our connections and perhaps work to find new ones. This is especially true during times of difficulty or change. Showing your appreciation of those you are connected to can reverberate throughout your entire social circle.
This week, I will contact those close to me to remind them of the value I place on our ongoing communication and connection.
August 13-19, 2012: Sweating for a Cause
Sweating for a Cause
August 13-19, 2012
Working out for its own sake is great, but what if the personal health benefits you receive aren’t quite enough to motivate you? Try working out for a good cause! Find a local walk, jog or bike-a-thon that raises money, support or awareness for your favorite cause, then use the event — and the good you are doing for your community — as your motivation.
This week, I will think about and research a cause with an accompanying physical activity that will motivate me to move.
Aug. 6-12, 2012: Cinema Snacks
Aug. 6-12, 2012
Summer is the season of big movie blockbusters, but if you indulge a few too many times in theater concessions, it can also be a belt-buster. Instead of loading up on sugary, salty, and fatty movie snacks, try bringing along healthier alternatives, like dried fruit, air-popped popcorn, or water flavored with lemon or lime.
This week, instead of going for unhealthy snacks at the movies, I’ll plan ahead and bring my own favorite healthier options.
July 30 - August 5, 2012: A Deeper Dialogue
A Deeper Dialogue
July 30 - August 5, 2012
Over time, it’s easy to fall into the rut of only doing “maintenance communication” with those closest to you. From bills to work, schedules to chores, maintenance communication keeps life moving, but doesn’t allow for a deeper dialogue to develop.
This week, I will set aside 10 minutes each day for maintenance-free communication. I will use this time to share my thoughts, feelings and ideas with my loved ones.
July 23-29, 2012: Unplugging
July 23-29, 2012
In our technologically wired world, much of what we do involves a power cord or plug. But imagine the benefits of giving yourself an entire evening of unplugged living. Power down phones, computers and TV’s and share quality time with loved ones instead. Leave lights off and watch darkness fall naturally. Keep radios and iPods silent and make your own music, or just enjoy the quiet.
This week, I will give myself one unplugged evening to reconnect with my surroundings, my loved ones and myself.
July 16-22, 2012: Furniture Fix
July 16-22, 2012
The look and feel of your home can get a bit stale when everything stays in the same spot for years at a time. When you want to make a change to your home environment, often the first impulse is to buy new stuff. Instead, try rearranging what you already have. Repositioning your furniture, for example, can renew your appreciation and enjoyment of your home, and it saves money too!
This week, I will move one piece of furniture in my home, and enjoy seeing my space with new eyes.
July 9-15, 2012: Dance Party for One
Dance Party for One
July 9-15, 2012
Dancing is a good way to get active and have fun. It’s often a social activity, but it doesn’t always have to be. Having a dance party for one, even for the length of a single song, can help you feel energized and refreshed. And depending on how much you’re moving, it can be great exercise!
This week, when I need an energy boost, I’ll turn on a favorite song and throw a dance party for one. I will enjoy the revitalizing, heart-thumping benefits for hours to come.
July 2-8, 2012: Vegging Out
July 2-8, 2012
A vegetarian or vegan diet has long been promoted as a healthy and environmentally friendly way of eating. Many people, however, have a hard time committing to such a big change. Going veggie doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition though. Small changes made over time can have a positive impact!
This week, I will swap out at least one meal centered on meat or animal products for a vegetarian or vegan one. I will celebrate this small change as a step toward big results.
June 25 - July 1, 2012: Attitude of Gratitude
Attitude of Gratitude
June 25 - July 1, 2012
In the midst of a busy day, it can be easy to take simple positives like nice weather or a delicious meal for granted. Research has shown, however, that when people write down a few things they are grateful for every day, their brains begin to redirect energy toward sifting out and storing these positive moments; writing down gratitudes can actually change brain chemistry!
This week, I will cultivate my awareness of the things in my life that I am grateful for. I will write down at least three gratitudes each day.
June 18-24, 2012: Best Times of Day
Best Times of Day
June 18-24, 2012
Many of us are familiar with the distinction between early birds and night owls. But what about masters of the mid-morning? Afternoon aficionados? Evening enthusiasts? Studies have shown that different people have different blocks of time throughout the day when they feel most alert, productive, creative, and sharp. What if you scheduled your day so that you make the most of this time?
This week, I will pay attention to my own best time of the day. I will prioritize my most important or intellectually rigorous tasks for my most energetic hours.
June 11-17, 2012: To Not Do
To Not Do
June 11-17, 2012
A to-do list is a great way to prioritize tasks, decrease stress and remind yourself of what it is you want to get done. But what about the things in your life that you want to experience less of? One helpful method of avoiding unhealthy habits or behaviors is to create a “to-not-do” list. A daily or weekly “to-not-do” list is a great way to stay conscious of your actions.
This week, I will create a “to-not-do” list and use it to practice identifying and avoiding specific habits and behaviors.
June 4-10, 2012: Do the Work
Do the Work
June 4-10, 2012
Strong relationships don’t appear out of thin air. And yet, many still talk about “finding someone” as if by chance. The magic of a relationship is not found, it is created. The work that goes into this creation might include planning a surprise for someone or taking the time to practice honest listening, speaking or reflecting.
This week, I will consider one thing I can do to strengthen an important relationship of mine. I will remind myself that extravagance and magic are no match for hard work and sincerity.
May 28 - June 3, 2012: A Calculated Splurge
A Calculated Splurge
May 28 - June 3, 2012
Adhering to a strict healthy-eating regimen can be exciting for certain people and flat-out boring for others. How can you stay motivated to make healthy food choices? Here’s one possibility: splurge. Strategically planning splurges can re-energize your healthy eating efforts. Think of it as taking one conscious step backward in order to move two steps forward.
This week, if I feel my motivation for healthy eating becoming stale and stagnant, I will consider the benefits of a calculated and reasonable splurge.
May 21-27, 2012: Healthy Stress
May 21-27, 2012
“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” This quote from composer Leonard Bernstein emphasizes that stress can serve a purpose in our lives. Whether meeting deadlines or overcoming life challenges, we can use our stress to move in a positive direction. A healthy balance is important: too much stress can be physically and mentally harmful, while too little can leave us unmotivated.
This week, I will find a healthy balance of stress and use it to complete a lingering task.
May 14-20, 2012: Maintaining Motivation
May 14-20, 2012
Summer is around the corner and many people are creating fitness plans to get their beach bodies in shape. Staying motivated for sunny weather is one thing, but how can you keep up your goals throughout the entire year? Exercise plans require upkeep and attention every day, not just for a certain event or season. What ideas do you have to stay on track?
This week, I will share one creative idea and solicit one creative idea for staying motivated in terms of my fitness. I will remind myself that there are many supportive people out there with good tips to offer.
May 7-13, 2012: Great Moments
May 7-13, 2012
Everyone tries to create great moments and memories in their lives. Think back to the moments that meant the most to you. Were they planned or unplanned? Were they expected or unexpected?
We often think our lives revolve around predictable great moments, but great moments often catch us unaware. What small decisions will you make this week to remain open to and appreciative of the great moments you are experiencing?
April 30 - May 6, 2012: Different Kinds of Hunger
Different Kinds of Hunger
April 30 - May 6, 2012
Our bodies experience hunger in different ways, and it’s sometimes more than a symptom of our stomachs. Experts often talk about “emotional hunger” as being different from “physical hunger.” While physical hunger is gradual in its approach and goes away after a meal, emotional hunger develops suddenly and urgently, and often is not satisfied even when the body is full.
This week, I will pay attention to the different kinds of hunger I experience. I will make sure my body and my emotions get the appropriate and healthy nourishment they deserve.
April 23-29, 2012: Home Gardening
April 23-29, 2012
Creating a home garden, even in a limited space, is a great way to boost physical and mental health. In addition to eating fresh and reducing your carbon footprint, gardening gets you outdoors and exercising. Cultivating a home garden can also save money and increase opportunities to bond with those close to you.
This week, I will look into the benefits of creating or maintaining a home garden. I will remind myself that even small spaces like windowsills can be a great place to start!
April 16-22, 2012: Appropriate Goals
April 16-22, 2012
When it comes to setting goals, how achievable is too achievable? Sometimes, taking a step toward positive change can feel too hard, while other times, it may feel too simple. Good goals are realistic and attainable, but at the same time they are not too easily met. The most effective goals balance equal amounts of difficulty and achievability.
This week, I will make sure I am setting goals for myself that are both challenging and attainable. I will remember to gather feedback and make adjustments, depending on the results I experience.
April 9-15, 2012: A Shared Activity
A Shared Activity
April 9-15, 2012
The hectic nature of one's daily routine sometimes leads to feelings of isolation. Fortunately, any commonplace setting can be used as a way to connect with others. For example, you may treat the kitchen like a pit stop for a quick snack, but taking time to prepare a meal with those close to you can help improve communication and create a sense of shared goals.
This week, I will choose a setting I encounter in my daily life and create an activity (such as preparing a meal) that I can share with those close to me.
April 2 - 8, 2012: Find the Source
Find the Source
April 2 - 8, 2012
It sometimes is difficult to identify the things that are causing you stress. Often, feelings of anxiety or worry can be overwhelming, to the point where everything feels like a contributing stressor. When you feel yourself starting to get stressed out, taking a few minutes to pinpoint the source can help bring clarity and control back to your day.
If I start to feel overwhelmed this week, I will take time to identify what’s actually causing me stress and focus on what steps I can take to manage it.
March 26 - April 1, 2012: Workout Music
March 26 - April 1, 2012
Many different parts of your body are active during a workout, including your ears! Studies show that the kind of music you listen to can have an effect on your exercise routine. From tempo and melody to your personal association with a song, music can increase motivation and efficiency, as well as help a routine feel exciting and new.
This week, I will pay attention to the kind of music I listen to when exercising. I will remember that a change in music may lead to more positive feelings during a workout.
March 19 - 25, 2012: A Sweet Substitute
A Sweet Substitute
March 19 - 25, 2012
The temptation of dessert can often throw a healthy eating plan out of balance, especially if your body is conditioned to crave sugar. One good way to address this craving is to use fruit as a sweet substitute. Not only can fruits take the place of less healthy sweets, but you also will be benefitting from more antioxidants that can boost immune system functioning.
This week, I will explore creative ways to incorporate fruit into my plans for dessert. This may include adding more fruit to any or all of my daily meals.
March 12 - 18, 2012: Gift-giving
March 12 - 18, 2012
Gift-giving is a part of many different social relationships. Although monetary gifts dominate most advertising, there are other gifts we give each other on a more regular basis. Consider the daily gifts of time, kind words or tasks you give to those around you. Often, these gifts are more appreciated and can help support healthy relationships.
This week, I will focus on the small, non-monetary gifts I give to those around me. I will pay attention to what kinds of non-monetary gifts I enjoy both giving and receiving.
March 5 - 11, 2012: Natural Energy
March 5 - 11, 2012
Although caffeine can provide a quick burst of energy in the morning, there are healthier alternatives that can help you avoid the afternoon crash. For example, eating a healthy breakfast or engaging in a light workout can get your metabolism and natural energy up and running for the day.
This week, I will be aware of my daily caffeine intake and consider the benefits of exercise, eating and sleep that can help me feel naturally awake.
February 27 - March 4, 2012: No Pain, Still Gain
No Pain, Still Gain
February 27 - March 4, 2012
There’s a false belief that exercise has to be painful in order to be beneficial. However, you don’t need to push your body to the point of discomfort in order to take steps toward health. There are benefits to taking it slow, especially if you are starting a new exercise program. Other precautions, such as getting medical clearance and making sure to stretch out, also prevent unnecessary pain.
This week, I will remind myself that “no pain, no gain” doesn’t always apply. I will make sure to celebrate even the smallest steps as positive exercise accomplishments.
February 20 - 26, 2012: Avoid Minimizing
February 20 - 26, 2012
Words like "just, " "only " and "sort of " appear often in everyday language. This kind of minimizing speech softens the impact of what is being said, but more often than not, it also leads to indirectness and a lack of intention in one’s communication. Eliminating words that minimize, even when talking to yourself, will help you clarify your purpose and goals.
This week, I will practice assertive communication by avoiding the use of minimizing words. I will use these opportunities to clarify what I’m really trying to say.
February 13 - 19, 2012: The Benefit of Naps
The Benefit of Naps
February 13 - 19, 2012
When appropriate, a short nap can be a great way to boost alertness and mood. A quick, emergency nap can increase safety and productivity (even five minutes of shut-eye can help you relax and regain focus). Or, you might find it beneficial to set a regular napping schedule for yourself. Either way, short, suitable naps can improve both mental and physical health.
This week, I will be conscious of my sleeping pattern and decide if and when it might be appropriate to take a nap.
February 6 - 12, 2012: To-do List
February 6 - 12, 2012
If the amount of things to do is causing you stress, it often is useful to make a list. Listing out the tasks for your day can help you prioritize what needs to get done and what order to do it in. A list can also help you break larger tasks into more manageable steps. The positive momentum gained from completing each task can provide further encouragement as you move forward.
This week, I will try making a list when I feel overwhelmed. I will remember to include positive, rejuvenating tasks on this list to help keep my day balanced.
January 30 - February 5, 2012: Whole Foods
January 30 - February 5, 2012
“Whole foods” are the things you eat that are as close to their natural state as possible. These items (which you usually will not find in boxes or bags) are very effective in helping the body fight off disease. Think of the number of ingredients that go into each of your meals. How far removed is each ingredient from a whole food source?
This week, I will focus on eating more whole foods, including fruit, vegetables and whole grains, in order to help my body stay healthy.
January 23 - 29, 2012: Nonverbal Communication
January 23 - 29, 2012
Does what you’re saying match up with how you’re saying it? Nonverbal communication, which can include facial expressions, posture, gestures, eye contact and tone of voice, is an important part of interacting with others. Aligning your words and your body language conveys confidence and clarity, and shows people your message is genuine.
This week, I will practice cultivating my nonverbal communication skills. I will use my body language to positively reinforce what I am saying.
January 16 - 22, 2012: Reestablish a Room
Reestablish a Room
January 16 - 22, 2012
How often do you find yourself watching television from the kitchen or checking email while in bed? Is the dining room table used for dining or as a place to collect mail? Reestablishing the purpose of a room can help you focus attention on the important activities of your day. Freed of clutter and distractions, you can devote your full attention to the space you inhabit.
This week, I will work to reestablish the main purpose of a room and align my intention with the intention of my surroundings.
January 9-15, 2012: Cooling Down Exercises
Cooling Down Exercises
January 9-15, 2012
Cooling down after a workout may seem gratuitous – after all, you are most likely tired or on a tight schedule. However, even if you only devote the last five minutes of a workout to cooling down, you will be helping return your breathing and heart rate to a normal, resting state. This can prevent stiffness, cramping, lactic acid buildup and improper circulation.
This week, I will practice cooling down after a workout (either by gradually slowing my pace toward the end or staying active for a few extra minutes before moving on).
January 2 - 8, 2012: Positive Present Moments
Positive Present Moments
January 2 - 8, 2012
When we find ourselves worrying, it is often about things that are either in the past or in the future. Within this mindset, the present moment often seems like nothing but a transitional point. At the same time, recognizing and cultivating positivity in the present moment, such as the beauty of your surroundings, can be a great way to lessen anxiety.
This week, I will be conscious of positive present moments. I will remember that focusing on the present is a great way to put my stress in perspective.
December 26, 2011 - January 1, 2012: Start with Breakfast
Start with Breakfast
December 26, 2011 - January 1, 2012
This is often the time of year for new resolutions and new diets. While there are many tips to healthy eating, one of the most fundamental steps you can take is to start your day with a good breakfast. A healthy, well-rounded breakfast not only will get your metabolism up and running, but it also will keep you energized, focused and less interested in snacking.
This week, I will pay attention to the first meals I have on the first days of this new year.
December 19-25, 2011: Practice Saying "No"
Practice Saying "No"
December 19-25, 2011
How does the end-of-the-year calendar get so full? The art of saying "no" is a delicate practice, but one that can help you avoid overcommitment and stress. Keep your personal goals and stress levels in mind when considering taking on a new task, and remember that being honest with others about your schedule can lead to healthier communication.
This week, I will remember that saying “no” is always an option available to me, and I will practice being honest with myself and others to keep from overcommitting.
December 12-18, 2011: Whole Brain Exercise
Whole Brain Exercise
December 12-18, 2011
How often do the right and left hemispheres of your brain talk to each other? Believe it or not, there are physical exercises you can do to increase communication between these hemispheres. Any exercises in which your arms or legs cross the center point of your body actually engage the whole brain. Or, try doing daily activities, such as writing or eating, with your non-dominant hand.
This week, I will add an element of mental exercise to some of my daily tasks to help stimulate whole-brain activity.
December 5-11, 2011: Smile
December 5-11, 2011
There are several public benefits to smiling, which include appearing more positive, more successful and more approachable. However, smiles don’t always have to be shared. There are benefits to smiling even when you are by yourself. A private grin can still release endorphins, boost immune system functioning and help lower blood pressure.
This week, I will practice smiling, even when I am by myself. I will use these private smiles as a way to stay mindful of my personal health.
November 28-December 4, 2011: Good Posture
November 28-December 4, 2011
Amidst the bustle and backache of day-to-day life, we can forget to be mindful of our posture and body position. Good posture, however, is part of a healthy lifestyle as it can encourage deep breathing, improve concentration and reinforce the natural curve of the spine. Believe it or not, good posture is noticeable too. Try it out and see what kind of feedback you receive!
This week, I will be conscious of how I sit and stand throughout the day. I will remind myself of the positive and effortless benefits good posture can bring.
November 21-27, 2011: Where and With Whom
Where and With Whom
November 21-27, 2011
There is more to healthy eating than the kind of food you put on your plate. The people and places that surround you also influence what and how you eat. For example, dining at the table rather than in front of the television might help you be more aware of your portions, or scheduling meals with certain individuals might be a way to observe or model healthy eating habits.
This week, I will be more conscious of where and with whom I eat. I will identify the situations in my life that make for the most positive mealtimes.
November 14-20, 2011: "Sympathy" and "Empathy"
"Sympathy" and "Empathy"
November 14-20, 2011
The terms "sympathy " and "empathy " may feel synonymous to some, but understanding the differences between the two can actually help improve and strengthen relationships. While sympathy is about feeling for someone, practicing empathy involves feeling with someone. It is empathy that allows us to see something from another’s point of view.
This week, I will recognize when I am expressing sympathy and when I am expressing empathy. I will use this awareness to help me connect with and care for others.
November 7-14, 2011: Make Time for Play
Make Time for Play
November 7-14, 2011
Make time for everyday play in your life. This could include playing games with others, playing your way through a challenging issue or even playing with your food! Daily play can be both a calming and stimulating activity for your brain, and it can encourage imagination, cooperation and both physical and mental health.
This week, I will make sure to play each and every day. I will use these playful opportunities to nurture my creative, sociable and whimsical side.
October 31- November 6, 2011: Enjoy the Journey
Enjoy the Journey
October 31- November 6, 2011
It always feels great to meet a goal you have set for yourself. Likewise, it can be frustrating if a deadline goes by unfulfilled. While progress is often defined in terms of specific achievements, there’s more to goal-setting than just measuring results. The process of working toward a goal can be just as satisfying as the finish line. There is much to learn and enjoy in the journey.
This week, as I set and work toward personal goals, I will be aware of the learning opportunities that present themselves along the way.
October 24-30, 2011: Not Always Cold Turkey
Not Always Cold Turkey
October 24-30, 2011
There might be benefits to stopping certain behaviors immediately and altogether. However, lasting change usually comes about by making small choices and adjustments on a daily basis. If you are trying to cut back on an undesired behavior, such as smoking or unhealthy eating, it may help to think of the issue in terms of the small changes you can make.
This week, I will think of small changes I can make each day to move positively toward a personal goal.
October 17-23, 2011: A New Activity
A New Activity
October 17-23, 2011
If you have a new sports-player or exerciser in your family or social group, you can tap into this sense of excitement and novelty by asking this person to teach you a different way to be active. Letting someone else teach you a physical skill can improve your relationship, build new lines of communication and, not to mention, give you an opportunity to exercise!
This week, I will be open to learning a new sport or physical activity. I will be aware of my own limitations, but up to the challenge of learning something new.
October 10-16, 2011: Senses
October 10-16, 2011
There are benefits to being in tune with your senses. While sight, hearing, touch, taste or smell may feel automatic, paying attention to the different signals your body sends can improve these abilities and increase awareness of your surroundings. In fact, there are many other things the human body can sense, including balance, temperature and pain.
This week, I will be aware of all senses available to me. I will give my body the proper attention (and proper rest) each of its senses deserves.
October 3-9, 2011: Tell a Story
Tell a Story
October 3-9, 2011
We all are storytellers by nature. It is how we create linguistic and social connections with others. Sharing a personal story with someone also can help you work through difficult emotions, create an ordered narrative out of fragmented events and strengthen your relationship with the listener.
This week, I will practice the art of storytelling. I will decide when, where and with whom I might share a narrative, as well as what kinds of rhetorical flourishes I might want to include.
September 26-October 2, 2011: Finding a Nature Spot
Finding a Nature Spot
September 26-October 2, 2011
With so much of our day spent in houses, cars and office buildings, finding time to be in nature can feel like a low priority. However, multiple studies have linked exposure to nature with improved physical and mental health, increased energy and active participation in life. Finding and returning to a particular spot in nature can increase these benefits, as you develop a unique connection with a place.
This week, I will find a personal place in nature. I will use this nature spot to create and cultivate a sense of connection with my environment.
September 19-25, 2011: Eat Healthy On the Run
Eat Healthy On the Run
September 19-25, 2011
In a society dictated by speed and efficiency, we often eat whatever is easiest to come by. Unfortunately, the healthiest foods aren’t always the most accessible. Ready-made or "fast" food may seem like the perfect option for a busy individual, but it usually does not provide the energy or nutrients needed. However, with a little preparation, you can eat healthy, even on the go.
This week, I will prepare some healthy options for eating on the run. I will make these options accessible in the places where I need them the most.
September 12-18, 2011: A Personal Message
A Personal Message
September 12-18, 2011
Almost everyone in our society receives dozens of daily correspondences in the form of emails, tweets, updates and, occasionally, handwritten letters. Technology has allowed us to hear from people all around the world, but how often are we in communication with ourselves?
This week, I will send myself a message. I will use this opportunity to issue a check-in, a reminder, a positive reinforcement or some other personal note. For a few minutes of my time, I will hear from the most important person in my life.
September 5-11, 2011: Celebrate Self-discipline
September 5-11, 2011
New exercise plans, diets or other personal regimens can sometimes fall by the wayside because of difficulties with self-discipline. People who believe they lack self-discipline can fulfill their own prophesy. However, self-discipline responds to positive attention. If you recognize, practice and celebrate moments of successful self-discipline, it will spread naturally throughout your life.
This week, I will recognize a part of my life where I am successfully self-disciplined, and I will give this behavior the positive attention it deserves.
August 29 - September 4, 2011: Partnered Workouts
August 29 - September 4, 2011
Exercising with a partner can do wonders for your health. In addition to boosting motivation and accountability, working out with another reinforces common interests, helps keep drills safe and improves the relationship, as chemicals are released in the brain that evoke feelings of happiness and connection.
This week, I will identify someone I can exercise with. If I already have an exercise partner, I will take this week to further develop our workout routine.
August 22-28, 2011: Complimentary Gifts
August 22-28, 2011
Compliments can be given and received just like any other type of gift. And just like any other gift, delivering a compliment takes honesty and intention, both on the part of the giver and the receiver. Think about the compliments you like hearing the most. Think about the compliments you like giving the most. Think about how sharing these gifts of confidence can improve the relationships in your personal and professional life.
This week, I will practice both giving and receiving compliments as a way to strengthen my relationships with those around me.
August 15-21, 2011: Daily Creativity
August 15-21, 2011
Expressions of creativity are for more than just artists. You also can cultivate moments of daily creativity as a way to relieve stress. Allowing yourself to become engrossed in an artistic activity can even have some of the same benefits as deep meditation. Think about how engaged children become in their drawings, paintings and self-made songs and games.
This week, I will come up with some ways to nurture my creative side. I will remind myself that taking time each day to be creative is also a way to reduce my stress.
August 8-14, 2011: A Splash of Color
A Splash of Color
August 8-14, 2011
A colorful grocery cart can lead to a healthy body. The rich color of fruits and vegetables represent a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Phytochemicals are what protect plants and give them their vibrant hues. These same phytochemicals provide us similar protection when we eat them, and can help with disease prevention and treatment.
This week, I will add a splash of color to my cart. I will incorporate produce of all shades (including white, tan, black and brown) to keep my meals exciting and healthy.
August 1-7, 2011: Take Time
August 1-7, 2011
It's amazing how even the smallest amount of consciously recognized time can change the way you start your day. Taking a few minutes of personal time each morning can move you from feeling rushed, distracted or stressed to feeling energized and in charge. The amount of time isn’t what’s important. What matters is that you are allowing yourself to both give and receive this gift each day.
This week, I will set aside a small amount of time each morning for myself. I will use this time to relax, write, contemplate, meditate or otherwise appreciate myself and my day.
July 25-31, 2011: Eating in Season
Eating in Season
July 25-31, 2011
Different fruits and vegetables fall in and out of season as we move through summer in the Northern Hemisphere. As another summer month draws to a close, think about the different crops (perhaps those local to your area) and what may not be available a few weeks from now. Preserving or freezing these foods also can help you savor the taste of summer well into the colder months.
This week, I will be aware of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in my area. I will make an effort to eat and appreciate that which is unique to this season.
July 18-24, 2011: Make a List
Make a List
July 18-24, 2011
Motivating yourself to exercise can be an exhausting task by itself. One positive strategy is to create a list of favorite memories or moments of past activities to remind yourself how good exercise can feel. Listing some of your past physical accomplishments also can remind you of what you’re capable of.
This week, I will make a list of some of my proudest physical feats. This could include any moment of positive, healthy exercise. I will draw on this list for future motivation.
July 11 - 17, 2011: Learn Something New
Learn Something New
July 11 - 17, 2011
When we are young, we learn something new every day. As we grow up, leave school and become more familiar with the world, learning becomes more of a passive event. But whether you know it or not, you still are learning new things all the time! You’d be surprised how much you can gain by staying open to the daily bits of knowledge that filter in.
This week, I will make an effort to learn something new (ideally, each day). I could learn more about ways to benefit my physical or emotional health, or simply find a subject that interests me.
July 4-10, 2011: Cool Down
July 4-10, 2011
It is important to voice your opinions, just as it is important to stand up for what you believe in. However, there are certain situations, such as the middle of an argument, where it might be healthy to let the matter drop. Disengaging from a potential fight, accepting the other person’s opinion and revisiting the issue with a clear head can lead to healthier relationships.
If I find myself in a heated situation this week, I will practice letting go of the moment and reevaluating what about the issue is important to me.
June 27 - July 3, 2011: Yes I Can
Yes I Can
June 27 - July 3, 2011
How many activities, opportunities or events have you turned down because of the belief that you flat-out "can’t do it "? It’s good to be aware of personal limitations, but consciously questioning and challenging these limits helps lead to personal growth. If you have a “can’t” in your life that you wish was a "can, " what steps could you take to make it so?
This week, I will recognize my abilities that have been covered up by "can’t. " I will practice saying "I can " or "I’m in the process of " to recognize where my interests truly lie.
June 20 - 26, 2011: Stay On Your Toes
Stay On Your Toes
June 20 - 26, 2011
While it is good to have an established workout routine, changing this pattern can be a great way to keep exercise interesting. Trying out new forms of physical activities or sports not only stimulates your brain but also develops muscle groups you are not used to using. You also will experience quick results as your body works overtime to process and respond to the unexpected.
This week, I will find a different physical activity to try or a new exercise to incorporate into my regular workout routine.
June 13-19, 2011: Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establish a Bedtime Routine
June 13-19, 2011
Rather than scrounging for the odd hour here and there, you can maintain a healthy, lasting sleep pattern by setting a nightly bedtime routine. Turning off electronics (including email and telephones), avoiding late-night snacks and relaxing with music or a book can help your body wind down and reestablish your circadian rhythm.
This week, I will practice a bedtime routine, which may include budgeting extra time in the evenings, to prepare myself for a good night’s sleep.
June 6-12, 2011: Keep in Touch
Keep in Touch
June 6-12, 2011
Physical distance between two friends or acquaintances often leads to mental distance, which can lead to extended periods without contact, until you catch yourself thinking, “I wonder whatever happened to that person…” For some, the longer it has been, the more difficult it feels to initiate contact. On the other hand, think about how wonderful it feels to hear from someone from out of the blue.
This week, I will contact an old friend or acquaintance and use this opportunity to build (or rebuild) on a past relationship.
May 31 - June 5, 2011: A Daily Dose of Sunshine
A Daily Dose of Sunshine
May 31 - June 5, 2011
While you always want to keep from overexposing yourself to the sun, sunlight is an essential nutrient for our bodies, and often one we forget to include as part of a healthy diet. Not only does sunlight help regulate appetite, digestion, metabolism and sleep patterns, but it also strengthens your immune system. Ultraviolet rays from the sun even can act as an antiseptic for your skin.
This week, I will enjoy the coming sunshine of summer in every way I can. I will make sure I get a healthy dose of sunlight every day.
May 23-29, 2011: Personal Comfort Foods
Personal Comfort Foods
May 23-29, 2011
There are two kinds of comfort foods: those which are “universally comforting,” sustaining our cravings for fat, salt or sugar, and those which are “personally comforting,” meals (perhaps from childhood) that are seasoned by memory or a special significance. These personal comfort foods can bring just as much joy as the alternative and often are much healthier for us.
This week, I will identify a personal comfort food and use my fond memories or associations with it as a way to treat both myself and my body.
May 16-22, 2011: Work Up a Sweat
Work Up a Sweat
May 16-22, 2011
Sweating might feel gross, but it’s a healthy part of exercise. In fact, there are several health benefits that are specific to sweating. For example, certain toxins can be removed through the pores. This not only cleans your body from the inside but also improves the health and look of your skin. Working up a sweat also improves your immune system (think of it like a fever, or the “clean” function on an oven).
This week, I will exercise enough to work up a sweat and recognize the many perks of perspiration.
May 9-15, 2011: State of the Union
State of the Union
May 9-15, 2011
In our country, the State of the Union is a chance for the President to communicate with the public. This has become an annual event that allows us to take a look at both our setbacks and our successes. Our government performs these “self-assessments” at least once a year. How often do you have a “state of the union” with those closest to you?
This week, I will talk to someone important to me about the “state of our union.” I will use this opportunity to find some way of telling this person my thoughts on the past, as well as my future goals for the relationship.
March 28-April 3, 2011: Original Taste
March 28-April 3, 2011
Think about the cookbooks you own. How many recipes in these books have you tried? Think about your trips to the grocery story. How often do you buy something brand new? Our eating habits, especially during the work week, can often feel routine and perfunctory. Trying out a new recipe or ingredient is a great way to make mealtime an interesting, engaging activity.
This week, variety and novelty will be the spice of life. I will incorporate a new ingredient or recipe into a meal. The more adventurous, the better.
April 24-May 1, 2011: Ask For Help
Ask For Help
April 24-May 1, 2011
How willing are people to help you? How does this compare with how willing you are to ask for help? We often are quite ready to lend our assistance or expertise to a coworker, family member or friend. However, when it comes to asking for help, we feel too proud, get embarrassed or think “It’s just easier if I do it myself.”
This week, I will ask for help with something and use this occasion to reflect on the wealth of resources surrounding me. Furthermore, I will recognize this help as the gift it is.
April 18-24, 2011: Take a Breath
Take a Breath
April 18-24, 2011
Some days are harder to get through than others. One irritation after another and pretty soon you're simmering - it's "one of those days." If you notice yourself thinking something like, "just one more thing," take a breath. Because when you lose your composure and blow up, someone usually catches the burnt and you may end up hurting someone without meaning to.
This week, I'll take a time out to consider what I'm really feeling when I get angry. Disappointment? Frustration? Humiliation?
May 2-8, 2011: A Healthy Treat
A Healthy Treat
May 2-8, 2011
There's nothing wrong with an edible reward every once and a while. However, it might be interesting to learn that, while we often train our bodies to expect something sweet, the psychological concept of a reward can be adjusted to fit a more health-conscious incentive. Once you think about it, there might be several out-of-the-ordinary foods that could be made to feel more like an indulgence.
This week, I will identify a healthy treat and use it to reward myself for a job well done.