2018 has arrived and with it a fresh slate; the perfect chance to do things a bit different. It feels rather cliche to declare that these are my New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be perfectly honest, I am not great about keeping specific, goal-driven, rigid resolutions. For me, resolutions are the impossible bar I set for myself, which I most often fail to meet, ultimately leaving me with feelings of defeat, guilt, and frustration. Anyone else feel the same way? However, this year I intend to change that.
I’m setting out to create intentions instead of resolutions. Intentions are kind of like the umbrella statement to your goal specific resolutions. The difference is that intentions do not lock us into an outcome, like a resolution to “lose 15 pounds by summer” would do. Intentions allow us to make mistakes, learn and/or edit as we daily work on becoming more of a human being, and less human-doing. Since Intentions are a concept I’m still exploring and learning, I highly recommend reading three great articles that explain this far better than myself, both here, here, and here.
So what is my new year intention?
To be healthy
That’s it… just one intention this year! All I want to do is allow myself to focus on this one thing. If I’m healthy, feeling great, bounding with energy, as well as emotionally healthy, the other areas of my life are likely to change for the better. For example, if you don’t feel well and constantly exhausted, it’s a challenge to feel happy, present, adventurous, fun, or peaceful. Another part of getting healthy is learning to love myself, accept who I am and believe that I am truly worth amazing things. I’ve spent many years in self-harm and when you don’t love yourself how can you expect to make your health or happiness a priority, right?
That all being said I am determined to make a change. I’m over waking up every morning and not feeling my best! These are some of the areas I want to see a change in, so I can experience life to the fullest, be productive, and have enough energy/creativity to see amazing things happen this year!
- Daily headaches – most of the time they occur in my sinuses, but it makes it hard to focus and be productive. I’ve also struggled with brain fog for about 15 years – actual “thinking” is tedious and often painful, which also impacts my creative abilities.
- Chronic exhaustion – some moments I feel 100% and then other days every bone in my body aches and I feel like I have the flu or the strange feeling of going into diabetic shock (not sure how else to describe it, lol). I’m beyond tired so often, making me feel like I’m 90 years old.
- Depression – it comes and goes in waves, but when depression hits, it’s hard to function. I don’t like how it makes me feel and I don’t like how it affects my family and friends.
- Cancer – the summer of 2015 I found out I had skin cancer (melanoma). As a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, fair-skinned person, who likely spent too much time in the sun, this was only a matter of time. It was pretty scary, but thankfully, I caught it in time! They were able to remove the skin cancer before it went to my lymph nodes and now I rock this killer scar. There was also a second scare of different cancer at the start of 2016, but after a billion tests, they suddenly couldn’t find it one day…so strange!
How will I bring about this change?
Before I go into these, I have to note that accomplishing these various items at once is totally unrealistic. It’s going to be a process over the next year and I may have to make adjustments, add things and be patient. Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. These following 9 items of action are hopefully just the start but will make a difference in the way I feel. Each item of action shares the common thread of doing what I can to rid toxins from my life and my home. I’ve been starting to study how much that affects our health and based on how I’m feeling right now I’m willing to do what it takes! So here’s to a new year, and a healthier new me!
Give my diet a makeover
Our diet has a massive impact on our health and mine has slowly been going downhill since leaving my once vegetarian lifestyle. So here’s my plan to change that:
- Choose organic as much as possible
- Avoid, when possible, foods that are loaded with toxins, artificial flavorings, additives, preservatives, etc.
- Increase my raw vegetable and fruit intake. Start eating more vegetarian meals.
- Avoid pork, ham, steak and deli meats. Only eat hormone-free, grain-feed, gmo-free, humanely raised meats such as chicken or turkey. Stick to wild caught salmon or tuna, if possible.
- A LOT LESS WINE – I will not lie, I drink a lot of wine! And it’s not really quality wine either. Though my tastes prefer an expensive cabernet from the Spring Mountain area of Napa, my budget only allocates for a crappy box wine from who knows where. The toxins in a box wine are probably terrifying and my liver is likely crying out for help. That being said, I’m going to do what I can and listen by sticking to nice wine on special occasions.
Switch to organic, non-toxic products for my home, skin, and makeup
When I start looking at the labels of my cleaning supplies and beauty products it is overwhelming how many toxic chemicals are shoved into their small packages. Those toxins build up in your system over time and tend to cause some serious damage.
- I’m switching to Seventh Generation products for cleaning supplies and laundry detergent, but they are now owned Unilever, so it’s hard to say just how safe they are now. Will have to do more research!
- Switch to gluten-free, vegan, 100% organic, non-GMO skin and hair care products.
Great places to shop for safe, effective beauty products that are totally clean, super good, and absolutely beautiful!
Commit to exercising daily
If I don’t exercise on a daily basis I get so sluggish. I truly believe my days are less productive without some sort of exercise. However, now that it’s winter I’m getting zero amount of exercise! Here are some ways I would like to fit that in:
- Start the morning out with yoga or deep stretching and some time for quiet reflection before I get to the daily grind
- In-home weight lifting, sit-ups, and pushups
- Once the weather warms up start going for walks – fresh air is a must!
- Clean the entire house – it’s a tough job!
Clear the clutter in my home
Life is hectic! It’s constantly demanding of us to do more, be more and have more. It can be exhausting and stressful! With the start of the new year, I feel a deep need to declutter and find a more minimalist lifestyle. Not in a crazy way where I move to the middle of nowhere and live in a hut. More in the way of simplifying what I have; if I don’t use it, get rid of it. Learn to slow down and enjoy the moments or even the things I do have instead of searching and needing more.
I also want to really organize this year and keep things tidy. Clutter and even more so dust and germs do not help with feeling happy and healthy.
Purchase air-filtering houseplants
I’m on a mission to have cleaner air in our house! Being basically stuck in our homes due to freezing temps outside, I’m in desperate need of clean, fresh air! My guess is that the dry, stuffy air accounts for a good portion of my sinus headaches, ugh! At some point, I do want to invest in an actual air purifier, such as this one from BlueAir. Until then I want to pick up a few of the following air-filtering houseplants:
- Aloe vera – removes formaldehyde and benzene
- Boston fern – removes xylene and formaldehyde
- Weeping fig – removes formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
- Lady palm – removes most indoor pollutants
- Rubber plant – removes most indoor pollutants, especially formaldehyde
- English ivy – benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and mold
Purchase better pillows
Our pillows are not great, so this year I want to invest in ones that provide better support! I find myself waking up exhausted and unable to face the day. Since we already failed in our mattress purchase a few years ago (not great support), the only option I currently have it to make sure my pillows are like wonderous clouds of delightfulness, haha!
Put a filter on my shower head
In an effort to clear the toxins I absorb, adding a filter to the shower is extremely important. A shower filtering system removes chlorine and synthetic, harsh chemicals that your body absorbs. It will also result in softer skin and hair! That one is a must for me. My skin gets painfully dry during the winters to the point that I can’t sleep at night.
A shower filters I’m currently looking at:
Learn something new this year
It’s easy to get stuck in your ways and basically stop improving on the person that you are. By challenging myself to learn something new this year, I’m forcing myself out my comfort zone. This year I want to learn pottery. I think it ties perfectly into my food photography… which is something I want to spend time improving this year as well.
Put down the technology and pick up a book before bed
This is a hard one for me. I am either on my phone or my computer right up to the moment we go to bed. But this habit comes with a big drawback, horrible sleep. The reason for this is that the blue wavelength light that our LED-based devices emit at night promote wakefulness and mental activity. This light also inhibits the production of melatonin, which is vital to falling asleep. Reading a book at night helps reduce stress and induce sleep. It also keeps our brains and vocabulary sharp.