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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wellness Resolutions, Plus a Recipe!

Happy 2014! I feel really good about this year and hope you do as well. 

Many exciting things happened to me in 2013- one of which was becoming a contributor for Peaceful Dumpling. That is where you can find this recipe for a "healthified" version of southern fried okra. 

(Along with many other interesting articles. This one especially piqued my interest this past week. And this one provides a great wrap-up of vegan news for the year.)

Now on a different note, let's talk resolutions. I know that this topic is cliche. And I know that I'm a little late. Whoops...

But the general idea is beneficial nontheless. We can all stand to better ourselves no matter the time of year. 

Remember when I wrote about the 7 aspects of wellness? Well I decided to focus my resolutions this years on those same aspects. It wasn't intentional, but I realized that all of the changes I would like to make in the new year fit into one of these categories.

I invite you to take another look at your own wellness health preceding the next 12 months. I'm sure that if you have made resolutions, they probably fit into a few of these categories anyway. But knowing exactly where they belong within your life can help them to seem more feasible and even fun. 

Here are a few of my current resolutions. They are not set in stone, but rather constantly evolving. Some of these goals will (hopefully) become second nature while others may need to be reevaluated later on down the road. 

1. Social

  • Attend at least one event a week that I don't want to go to. (I know how this sounds... But I am a self-declared introvert and the type of person who will suddenly want to stay home 5 minutes before the party. I guess I should rephrase this goal as attending any event that I don't initially want to attend- but am happy that I went to after the fact.)
  • Engage in more random acts of kindness towards friends and family without expecting anything in return.

2. Emotional

  • Stop myself when I notice myself getting irritated and recollect my thoughts before I say something I might regret.
  • Journal weekly to become more aware of my thoughts and emotions. 

3. Spiritual

  • Set aside (at least) 5 minutes a day to meditate. 

4. Environmental

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Try to reduce packaging waste as much as possible (by buying in bulk, reusing products, etc.)

5. Occupational

  • Start using my calendar again consistently to better manage my time. 
  • Be open to dropping certain commitments if I am unable to find balance. 

6. Intellectual

  • Develop better study habits and attend study sessions on campus.
  • Aim to read one or more books a month, strictly for leisure (not just for classes).

7. Physical

  • Drink at least one bottle full of water a day. (I've realized that it's easier to remember and follow through with right when I wake up and right before I go to sleep).
This is what I'm working with so far. Some are a little vague while others might be too specific... But they are what they are and I am happy with them. 

Improving your life in each of these 7 categories should leave you feeling more fulfilled and joyful- at least that's been the case for me. 

When you're feeling stuck in a rut, or lacking motivation, or just a little off, come back to the basics. Focusing on wellness is a reasonable alternative to the strict and often rigid guidelines that plague the holiday season. Be gentle with yourself. Start small and see how you do and then you can always raise the bar later on down the road. 

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