Part of the reason that I enjoy writing resolutions? So I can revise them. I can try and try again, then refine what works and what doesn’t. (Check out Pilar’s “Refine Your Life” for more.)
The main theme that has been helpful is the basis of this blog: cleanliness. In both words and actions.
- To come clean, and be honest with myself and others, about my food, fitness, and commitments (huge for me since I have trouble saying “no” to others).
- To eat clean foods free of antibiotics and pesticides. Whole foods that nourish my body and give me energy, and skip processed foods that make me feel sluggish.
- To keep my home and environment clean with simple cleaning products that do no harm. (Read about the health complications caused by commercial cleaning products in this month’s “Detox Your Home” and our popular article, “8 Hidden Toxins.”) Get rid of clutter regularly so it doesn’t build up. Use body- and beauty-care products that are safe and not suspect (check out “Beauty Beware”).
It’s a straightforward approach that has worked well for me, although I’m always surprised at how challenging it can be. We don’t live in a bubble, after all, and sadly, I don’t have control over what I’m exposed to when I leave home or work, where I have access to cleaner products. I can only try to do my best daily, and know that, 80 percent of the time, I’ve done well. And I’ve come a long way.
This clean theme is helping me write my 2014 goals as well:
- Clean home: Spend 30 minutes every day cleaning up after dinner. Go through the mail. Wipe down the kitchen after cooking. Tidy up the living spaces. It’s specific and doable, and is helping us skip the big Saturday Chores block that steals so much time from our weekends.
- Clean food: I was a little relaxed about this during the holidays, but I’ve gotten back on track with the help of my morning green smoothie. At lunch, I’ve been drinking kombucha. I went grocery shopping on Wednesday and loaded up on some great purifying foods like kale, parsley, lemons, ginger, cucumbers, and cauliflower. I’m also considering a rule I’ve tried before: Only eat meat when I know where it comes from. It’s really challenging, and no one wants to ask the hostess where she purchased her meat from in advance (hello, judgement!). So there will probably be a few exceptions. But it’s easier to do at restaurants because more and more places are listing where they source their food. And if they don’t? Ask. Or when in doubt, look at the vegetarian options, or salads with beans instead of meat. (If you’ve tried a similar food rule, let me know in the comments section below.)
- Clean in words and actions, a.k.a. Speak My Truth. Remind myself of my boundaries, and know that I don’t have to say yes all the time to make people happy. Allow myself adequate downtime for rest and meditation. When I’m faced with a choice of meeting a friend for a drink or working out, suggest a walk instead. Or say I can meet them later or a different day. Know that doing what’s healthiest for me will make me a better friend, too.
So: How are you cleaning up your act in 2014?