It goes without saying that the start of 2014 marks the beginning of all the resolutions you set out to achieve for yourself and your loved ones. If you're like most Americans, health is the most important aspect of your life that needs improving. Without adequate health and well-being, you can kiss most of your other resolutions goodbye. Declining health and vitality robs you of precious energy to achieve your personal or professional goals.
With that in mind, I’ve created a series of simple practices into your life — the more of these you add, the better and more in charge of your life you’ll feel.
1. Move more.
Regardless of your age, your brain and body expect and require movement for health. Movement exerts its effects on the brain through several mechanisms, including neurogenesis (the creation of new neurons), mood enhancement, and endorphin release. Do some form of exercise that significantly raises your heart rate for 30 minutes at least four times a week. Remember also to break up your sitting and move frequently during the day.
2. Get more sleep.
Sleep is often the single most undervalued behavior in our lives, and the one with the most immediate power to improve our experience in every waking moment. If you’re getting six or fewer hours of sleep each night, aim to get just one more hour of sleep on average — it will leave you feeling more physically energized, emotionally resilient, and mentally clear.
3. Eat less, more often.
Food is fuel, and real food — lean proteins and vegetables/fruits (complex carbohydrates) — are high-octane fuel. You’re best off when you eat in small doses throughout the day, beginning with breakfast.
4. Remove interference.
Chiropractic care can literally change your life, and enable you to live a pain-free life full of energy and vitality. That’s because chiropractic helps reduce or eliminate pressure on your nerves — the same ones that are responsible for your everyday bodily functions. Chiropractic will help eliminate pain and inflammation, reduce fatigue, and restore normal nerve flow to all your organs — giving you the energy, drive, and peace of mind to go out there and live life the way it was meant to be lived.
5. Renew more.
Human beings are not designed to work continuously. We’re meant instead to alter between moving (spending energy) and resting (renewing energy). Ideally, take a break every 90 minutes, even if only to spend a minute or two stretching or breathing deeply. It all matters, and it all adds up.
6. Be present.
The greatest gift you can give someone is your undivided attention. After all, it’s better to be fully present with someone for an hour than physically present, but distracted, for multiple hours. Shut off your phone at a certain time each day, and practice being present with your family and friends.
7. Give thanks.
We’re far quicker to notice what’s wrong in our lives than we are what’s right. To help change this mindset, once a week aim to write a note of appreciation to someone who deserves it, telling the person precisely what you’re grateful for.
8. Do the most important thing first.
Early in the morning (after your coffee), you’re likely to have the most energy, and the fewest distractions. Start your workday by focusing without interruption on the most important or difficult task you can accomplish that day.
9. Keep learning.
Our brains work better if we challenge them, and life becomes more interesting when we do. Reading books is a simple and surefire way to learn and grow, but so is building a daily practice around learning a new language, a sport, an instrument, or around how to fix a car, or draw.
10. Give back.
Lending a helping hand not only aids others in need, it’s also very rewarding. Throughout the year, aim to take some time to add value to the world at large by supporting charities, standing up for great causes, or giving back to your community.
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