MAKING BIG CHANGES IN SMALL STEPS
Here are some small steps that can help you make those big changes this year:
1. Make Changes You Want. It may seem intuitive to say make only the changes you really want, but we all struggle with making changes because we think we should or because someone else wants us to. By making only the changes you truly desire, your motivation will last longer and your will to succeed will be stronger.
2. Set Reasonable Expectations. Don’t set yourself up to fail by making goals that are too difficult to achieve. Set small, achievable goals that you will feel good about accomplishing. †These small goals can gradually add up to a big change over time. It is also important to set a reasonable time to meet your goals. Keep in mind it takes time to create new habits and break out of old routines.
3. Pile on the Passion. To make lasting changes, we need the motivation to keep going long after the first burst of adrenaline. Make a list of all the reasons you are passionate about making changes ñ will you have more energy to do the things you love, more time you can spend with family, peace of mind that you are taking care of your health? Read over the list often to remember the purpose of all your hard work.
4. Think Outside of the Box. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. Try to match your goals with things you love rather than doing what everyone else is doing. If you love music and dancing, you might try dance lessons rather than joining an expensive gym in order to exercise more. Maybe you love to cook. You might try taking some raw food classes if you are interested in eating healthy and losing weight.
5. Focus on the Journey. Making major change is not about instant transformation. We get so focused on the end result or the final destination, that we forget to enjoy and be engaged in the journey. Mindfulness, which is the practice of being in the moment, can help you enjoy the process.
6. Line Up Support. Every major change requires support. Get together a support team of friends, family, and healthcare professionals who can help you achieve your goals. These people need to be positive, affirming, and encouraging of your goals. Don’t include anyone on your team that makes you feel bad about yourself.
7. Be Gentle with the Results. Life throws many unexpected things our way, making it hard to stick to new routines. We might experiences elevated stress, unpredictable turn of events, loss, or even lack of resources. No matter what happens, be gentle with yourself. Simply commit to doing the best you can in each moment and know that is enough.
No matter what changes you are facing, it is especially important to tell your Naturopathic Doctor so they can help support you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Supplements, Mind Body techniques, nutrition and other holistic therapies can help you succeed by supporting your vital energy.
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RECIPE: SEAWEED SALAD
This light, refreshing salad is an easy way to add seaweed to your diet. Try to find certified organic seaweed when you can to avoid exposing your family to pollutants.
- 3/4 ounce dried wakame seaweed (whole or cut)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 small tart apple (1/4 pound) such as Granny Smith
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Soak seaweed in warm water to cover, 5 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out excess water. If wakame is uncut, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Stir together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Cut apple into 1/4-inch dice and add to dressing with seaweed, scallions, and cilantro, tossing to combine well. Sprinkle salad with sesame seeds.
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