13 Resolutions, Solutions & Life Tweaks For 2014

This was co-written with the Be Well team: Kerry Bajaj, Katrine van Wyk, Jenny Sansouci, Laura Kraber, Jennifer Mielke, and Courtney Blatt.

Resolutions. So many of us make 'em, break 'em and then throw in the towel until next year rolls around. For many it’s disheartening. Frankly, I think the idea of resolutions is somewhat outdated. Instead of making big, hard, doomed-to-fail resolutions, let’s break 'em down, call them “life tweaks,” and start making a few little adjustments every day. Look at what’s not working or dragging down your body or spirit and then start the break up process, like ending a bad relationship. If going cold turkey works better for you, then by all means do so.

And if you backslide, acknowledge it as a minor slip-up, not a major derailment, get back on track, and keep moving forward. For a little inspiration, here’s a round-up of the “life tweaks” that the amazing Be Well team and I will be working on in the months ahead:

1. Meditate more.

Meditation’s benefits are legion, and I try to do it every day, but I plan to consolidate my practice, and do 20 to 30 minutes of sitting meditation, first thing in the morning, right when I get out of bed. Sitting and focusing on my breath always leaves me feeling more calm, clear, centered and ready to take on the day.

2. Laugh more...

.…And not just by relying on Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, but by laughing more in everyday life. Laughter has tremendous healing properties. Adding humor to our daily activities is fun, free and easy to do—so sign me up!

3. Eat more fat.

Yes, you read that right. I plan on giving good fats, like those from coconut oil, coconut cream, olive oil, nut butters, and butter from grass fed-cows, a much bigger role in my diet. And in 2014, I will encourage others to do the same. This is the year to help our culture let go of the idea that fat is bad for you and get folks to embrace good fats!

4. Monthly changes.

I know I can commit to making one change, one month at a time, so that’s my plan for 2014. Breaking it down into smaller, 30-day increments, making change feel less overwhelming. And besides, I love the idea of a fresh challenge every month! — Kerry Bajaj

5. Practicing “right speech.”

In Buddhism, there are some helpful tenets of right speech — that which is true, beneficial and pleasing to others. It’s so easy to stray from these, but it never feels good. For January, my first life tweak will be to practice right speech and check in on my progress every Sunday. As Kris Carr says, you have to pay attention to what you put in your mouth and what comes out of it! — Kerry Bajaj

6. Breaking up with sugar.

Instead of vague goals like “eat healthier” or “work out more,” my life tweaks need to be specific, so this January I’m letting go of sugar for the month – and possibly beyond. Pregnancy and breast-feeding brought on some serious sweet cravings, but now it’s time to say, “Hey, the sugar party is over,” and move on without it. Funny thing is, I’m really looking forward to not “needing” sugar anymore. — Katrine van Wyk

7. Learning to go with the flow.

So much stress and anxiety comes from the pressure I put on myself, so I’ve decided to let myself off the hook! I’ve learned that when I relax more and stop pushing so hard, life flows more easily. In 2014, I’ll be learning to take my foot off the gas more often and ask myself which of my “priorities” are really necessary, simplify accordingly, have more fun along the way and go with the flow. — Jenny Sansouci

8. Loosening caffeine’s grip.

I plan to rely on caffeine less, and hydrate more. Too much stimulation from caffeine, especially when I’m already tired, can really affect the adrenals and make me feel so much more fatigued, so it’s time to taper off. I’m going to crowd out caffeinated drinks and make lots more room for stabilizing, non-addicting, simply good-for-me H2O! — Jenny Sansouci

9. Greeting the day with energizing exercise.

Daily exercise always makes me feel terrific, but long days can make it tough to find time. In 2014, I’ll be waking up 20 minutes earlier to fit in some mini-trampoline jumping or living-room yoga on the days I know I won’t be getting to the gym. — Laura Kraber

10. Embracing the gift of sleep.

I love the quiet productivity and much-deserved downtime I get from staying up late, but boy, do I hate feeling groggy the next day. So my life tweak for 2014 is more of a sleep tweak: I am committing to getting 8 hours of sleep every night! — Laura Kraber

11. Sharing the love.

Living in New York City with a baby, this year I have experienced so many beautiful acts of generosity and kindness. They’ve inspired me so much so that for 2014, I’m making it my practice to be mindful of reflecting generosity back to others. Connecting with others through kind words or deeds that go above and beyond is not just nice for them, it also sows the seeds of profound happiness in our own lives, and so everybody wins. — Jennifer Mielke

12. Taking the time to slow down.

They say less is more, so in 2014, that’s exactly what I will be doing. Over the past few months, I’ve been spreading myself too thin, caring for my newborn and my toddler, getting back into shape after childbirth, and trying to focus on my business. Time to shake things up a little, so this year, I will be learning to prioritize more and slow down. — Courtney Blatt

13. Making time for my physical health.

Exercise is a big part of my life. It makes me feel better both physically and mentally. Since I have limited time, I tend to fall into the rut of same exercise routines. This year, I’m going to set some new goals – like competing in my first triathlon! Not only will it keep me motivated, it will keep me moving in different ways. — Courtney Blatt

And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalitiesIn 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives. He is also the instructor of the mbg Video Course, 14-Day Detox.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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