It’s that time of year again, when many of us commit to improving our lives in some way. Seems a lot of people resolve to lose weight, or exercise more, particularly after indulging a little too much over the holidays! But how about doing something else likely to reduce your risk of disease-like resolving to live with fewer toxins?
Here are my top ten New Year’s resolutions. Let me know what you think, and please share how you plan to improve your life this year!
- Reduce toxic exposure. In today’s world, this is an ongoing goal for me. I’m always learning about how we’re exposed to chemicals, and making changes to help reduce my overall lifetime exposure. If you’d like to do the same, please review some of my other posts on the issue (“Toxic Talk“), and in general, shop for organic and safe products from companies who are conscious of chemical exposure.
- Change my thinking to “safe.” Something I realized over the last year is that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” Some products that have synthetic ingredients may be safer than those with natural ingredients, depending on how the product is manufactured and processed, and depending on who is using it. Someone who is allergic to lavender, for example, would not find a “natural” lavender skin lotion to be safe. This year’s resolution: think “safe” when thinking about my health!
- Watch what I eat. I’ve always been careful with my food choices, as I know what we eat not only affects our health, but the appearance of our skin and hair as well. But this year I realized that we all need to be even more careful. We witnessed many food recalls because of bacterial contamination, and then we had the recent revelation that many apple juices and chicken contain levels of arsenic that could be unsafe. My takeaway? Buy whole foods whenever possible, and shop only from brands I trust.
- Get enough sleep. Researchers have given us a lot more information this past year on how important sleep is to our health. Those of us who get less than five hours a night are at a much higher risk of diseases and even early death. I tend to be a busy person, so my resolution this year-try to get 8 hours on most nights! Sleep is also tied to feeling emotionally balanced, which leads me to my next resolution…
- Maintain emotional balance. I’m a very passionate person, which is a good thing when it comes to going after the things I care about, but not so good when it comes to maintaining emotional balance. My goal for this year-take time out each day to breathe, meditate, and process any negative energy so I can maintain an emotional even keel.
- Let go of the need to be perfect. Many of us women feel we have to be perfect at everything all the time-work, personal lives, health, community service, you name it. This year, I’m going to continue to work at letting go of this need. Some things are just out of my control!
- Find more ways to be of service. Over the years, I’ve become convinced that when we give back to other people, we ourselves reap many rewards. Even researchers tell us that volunteering or finding ways to give is good for our health. I’m already engaged in various charitable activities, but this year, I’m seeking out more.
- Have more fun! I think that when you’ve survived cancer, you tend to take on a sort of serious outlook. You realize how short life is, and living your purpose may seem more important than ever. I know it affected me this way, anyway, so my resolution this year is to break up the seriousness a bit and let loose a little more. Having fun is definitely good for your health!
- Accept life on it’s own terms. The longer I live, the more I realize there are some realities about life we just have to accept. We will always be faced with challenges, for example-life will never be stress-free. We will always have choices to make, and risks to take. We will always experience both happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. I think learning to accept these realities helps us to stop struggling against them, so that we can relax, put things in perspective, and feel more comfortable with life.
- Do something every day to lift my spirits. I know that taking care of myself helps me to be the best person I can be, so I’m re-committing to doing something every day that will lift my spirits. It may be as simple as finding a new beautiful scent for my aromatherapy, taking a nice hot bath, listening to some of my favorite music, or getting away for the weekend. I urge you to do the same!
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2012? Please share with our readers.
Photo courtesy Delairen via Flickr.com.