Guest Authors

Setting Intentions for the New Year + Giveaway-Enter to Win! by Guest Author & Health Expert, Sara Mercer

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It’s inevitable that at the start of each New Year I have a desire to make resolutions for self-improvement. This year, instead of resolutions, which can feel rigid and negative, I chose to set intentions and goals for the year ahead. Here are my tips for setting intentions and keeping them!

Be Positive

When setting intentions, focus on positive additions you would like to make in your life instead of all the nasty habits you would like to get rid of. If you start to add enough healthy, self-loving habits into your life, you will find there is very little room for bad ones. It is rare to find someone who eats well, exercises regularly, and gets plenty of rest who is also a smoker and heavy drinker!

Be Specific

Don’t set vague goals such as “ I will eat healthier” or “ I will exercise more.” Make your goals tangible. Instead of “I will exercise more,” say, “I will do yoga three times a week.” Instead of “I will eat healthier,” try saying, “I will eat greens at least once a day.” Being specific with your goals breaks them down and makes them feel less lofty. If you eat greens at least once a day, you are sure to achieve your goal of eating healthier. If you do yoga three times a week, you will certainly be exercising more!

Be Declarative

When setting your intentions, don’t say “I will,” say “I am.” Saying “I will” gives you too much wiggle room. Saying “I am” repeatedly to yourself makes you more likely to do whatever it is you set out to do! For example, say to yourself:

“I am doing yoga every day in January,” as opposed to, ”I will do yoga every day in January.” Sometimes the smallest tweak in phrasing can make all the difference!

Be Vulnerable

Never be afraid to ask for help with achieving your goals. Every year my husband and I email our intentions for the year to each other. Having him check in and remind me of my goals helps keep me motivated. Whether it is your partner, a friend, a sibling or a co-worker, enlist the help of someone to keep you in check and on goal.

Be Forgiving

Remember that you are human and you are going to slip up. If you miss one workout, eat one piece of pizza, or stay up way to late one night, that does not make you a bad person. Slip-ups are normal. Forgive yourself. Remember, we only truly change when we are happy and excepting of ourselves.

Be Excited

To keep you motivated, spend some time making a list of what you are looking forward to in the year ahead. When your goals feel out of reach, it will be encouraging to remember that trip you have coming up, that movie you can’t wait to see, or that baby you have on the way. (OK, maybe that’s just mine!)

Cinco Vidas always asks our guest authors three questions regarding health and wellness.  Here is what Sara had to say:

What does it mean to you to be healthy and well?

To me being healthy and well means waking up every morning happy to be in the body and life that I am in. Even if there are things I want to improve about myself (and there always are), I try and love myself the way I am knowing I am doing my best.

How does being healthy affect the rest of your life?

Being healthy is my life. By taking the best possible care of myself, I am able to be kinder to my loved ones, more helpful to my readers and clients, and a better citizen of the planet.

What is the one thing you do every day, no matter what, to maintain good health?

For me green juice is sacred. No matter where I am, I make sure to drink at least 16oz of green juice to help my body maintain balance and alkalinity. Sometimes this means freezing and packing green juice when I travel, but it is well worth it!


sara 2 CV Skinlabs Primary Restorative Skin Balm Cut1) Win Sara’s favorite CV Skinlabs product-Restorative Skin Balm, to heal any burns while she is cooking (Value $26)

2) and a bag of her “Clean, Pure and Simple Granola.” (Value $12)

How to Enter: LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW between now and 1/18

Sara has asked that you share two things in a comment below: 1) an intention for 2013, and 2) something you are looking forward to in 2013. Sara will pick the winner.


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Sara Jane Mercer Bio + Contacts

After countless hours developing healthy recipes in her own kitchen and sharing them with friends around the world, Sara realized that all people needed were the right tools, simple steps to follow, and easy, quick recipes. Her mission was to educate and to simplify, and thus the “clean, pure and simple” way of life was born. Sara lives in New York City with her husband and dog and enjoys exploring all of the healthy hidden treasures the city has to offer, from local food markets and vegetarian restaurants to natural beauty finds and fun new fitness classes. All of her favorites can be found on her website, For more Clean, Pure and Simple tips you can also follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook!