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The Top Ten New Year's Resolutions
by Eva Urbaniak, N.D.

It's that time again. What's your new year's resolution, or are you going to dust off last year's that never got realized? My last year's resolution was to never make another, but alas, we humans seem to be programmed to want to improve ourselves. It is rather comical how we set unrealistic expectations and forget that old habits die hard. Bringing our awareness to things we would like to change about ourselves is a big first step, and maintaining that awareness grows into positive change without great effort or sacrifice. A good example is smoking. We know that smoking is very addicting but we also know a lot about the sub-conscious mind and that we can program it just like a computer. So rather than stating an ultimatum like "I will not smoke," which is doomed to failure because not only is it a negative command, but it is taking away something associated with pleasure with nothing to substitute in its place. Make a simple affirmation like, "I will take deep breaths especially under stress," and before you know it, you're taking deep breaths, calming yourself instead of reaching for that cigarette.

This year, I'd like to share with you a list of ten fundamentals to greater health and well being. They are all simple, painless and fairly easy to implement. You can try just one or all of them. They build on one another and they can be adjusted to each person's capabilities. For those of you with many things on your mind, write one down on a piece of paper where you will see it during the day.

1. Better nutrition and eating habits:

What can you eat more or less of to be more healthy? Eat slowly. Relax while eating. Chew your food well. Eat when necessary. Check ingredients on labels.

2. Breathe:

Be sure to take deep abdominal breaths throughout the day, especially under stress. Notice how you feel after taking the breath.

3. Good Posture:

Align your body, sitting, standing, and even lying down. Notice how you feel when standing straight and tall as opposed to slouching. Take necessary steps to get proper support for feet, back, wrists and neck when walking, sitting or working.

4. Exercise:

Don't vegetate; oxygenate. Whatever you do, and whatever your pace, get your heart and cardiovascular system pumping. Walking, running, bicycling, and rebounding are all excellent ways to stimulate your metabolism. Stretch. Stretching keeps body tension from building up. Try a yoga or dance class. Our bodies were made to move, so be wise, exercise!

5. Pace yourself throughout the day:

Listen to your body talking to you during the day. Learn the signals that tell you you're moving too fast or stressing. Slow down, breathe, stretch, meditate, relax. Find out more about stress management through literature, workshops and classes. There's not much we can do about stress, but we certainly can do something about how we deal with it.

6. Personal care

Get yearly check ups from doctor, dentist, optometrist. Learn more about preventive care to avoid physical problems.

7. Get organized

Put everything in its proper place and avoid clutter. Manage your time by setting your real priorities; personal, business, and social balance. Have a daily or weekly schedule if appropriate for time coordination. If necessary have a personal filing system. And just to be sure write it down. That way you free the mind and have the facts at hand.

8. Create a positive attitude and environment

Surround yourself with positive people who support you. Seek out places and activities that make you feel good about yourself. Open your mind. Get to know yourself, really listen to your self-talk and if it sounds derogatory in any way, change the tape. Enjoy beautiful music, art and nature. Choose to adopt a more positive attitude toward life and watch your world change.

9. Let go of what doesn't serve your higher good:

Sometimes this can mean people too. Be who you want and need to be; don't yield to others demands of you. You can let go lovingly. Drop worry, especially self-worry. All the "what ifs" are imaginary. Pick up self-certainty. You'll still be you if stop worrying. When you make necessary changes in your inner world, the outward world shifts and
re-aligns itself to your new reality.

10. Cultivate love and kindness towards others:

This fundamental should be in the number one slot, but in order to master this one, one or more of the above need to occur. Holding others in esteem is easier when one has a grasp of self-esteem. Relationships grow and improve with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.
Caring and sharing, wanting to help others, and practicing patience with those who need it most, the elderly, children, etc., helps us to change and grow in wisdom and love into the competent and fulfilled persons we are meant to be.

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