Time seems to fly by no matter what we do. However, being present in our daily lives and creating a habit of mindfulness is the best way to savor every moment of our lives. You’ll find that you are less stressed and more satisfied with your circumstances when you take the time to appreciate the people and things around you. The following five suggestions will help you to live in the now, compared to the past or future.
Tune in not out. We live in an age of technology that makes it easy to interact with people virtually and remove ourselves from the people and situations around us. While activities like listening to our headphones, spending time on social media, and playing video games are not harmful, and can be therapeutic at times, it is important to not spend too much time removed from those around you. Try commuting to work without your headphones or the radio several times a week. Instead talk to those around you, take some time to mediate, or just take note of the scenery around you. Focusing on your surroundings and those around you is the easiest way to stay present in your daily life.
Stop and take a bite out of life. Try eating your food slower. While you are chewing, take some time to think about the taste and texture of your food. Eating your food slower not only allows you to enjoy and appreciate your food more, but helps you to focus on the present. You will eat less with your eyes and more with all of your senses.
Enjoy nature. Take some time every day to sit outside and be in nature. Feel the sun on your skin, the breeze on your face, the smell of grass, etc. Nature can be very peaceful and bring you back into the now. This same principal is also important during the winter. Playing in the snow or taking a short walk outside will have the same benefits as enjoying nature in the warmer months. If you dislike the cold, then take some time everyday to look out a window with a view of some nature. Another alternative could be purchasing some indoor plants that you can care for and appreciate daily.
Focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by all of the things that we have to do each day. The stress and anxiety from our busy schedules can keep us from being present in the now. You can improve your presence and mindfulness by doing one task at a time. Try starting with your smaller tasks first. You’ll feel more accomplished and less stressed once you have knocked one or two things off your list.
Listen and talk less. Our final suggestion for being more present in your daily life is to listen to what others are saying more than talking yourself. You’ll improve your relationships and connect with your co-workers and loved ones on a deeper level. Listening to and helping others work through the hardships in their lives can also help you to put the minor hardships in your own life into perspective.
Try out one of these suggestions today and we know you will feel more mindful and present in your life than you were yesterday! :)
The month of December is a time for reflection. As we spend time with our loved ones and evaluate the last twelve months, many of us feel recharged and ready to set goals for the New Year. For those looking to improve their health and fitness it can be particularly challenging to create goals that are realistic and achievable. Many of us choose goals like losing weight or running a marathon, but we fail to create a manageable plan to reach that goal. The key to success with health and fitness goals is evaluating your starting point, establishing appropriate short and long-term goals, setting accountability checkpoints, adjusting your diet and fitness habits gradually, and choosing workouts that you enjoy. This type of holistic planning will keep you on track and motivated year-round.
Evaluate Your Health and Lifestyle. Knowing your health and fitness base line is critical to setting realistic and appropriate goals for the next year. Ask yourself questions like, how good is my diet? Do I smoke cigarettes and/or drink often? How often do I exercise? Do I have any physical limitations? Take some time to sit down and answer these questions. Decide what areas of your health and fitness that you would like to improve. Then schedule a checkup with your doctor to check your vitals and make sure you are able to safely workout. Once you have the go ahead, then move to step two.
Establish your short and long-term goals. Long-term goals usually take twelve or more months to accomplish, where as short-term goals can be accomplished in a day, a week, or a month. One strategy for creating the perfect fitness resolution for you is to create your long-term goal first and then to work backwards. Your long-term goal should be more general and take longer to accomplish. Examples might be to loss 20 lbs., to eat organic foods 80% of the time, or run a marathon. Once you have chosen your long-term goal, then you will create your short-term goals. Try starting out with one short-term goal and then add a new short-term goal each week. You want your short-term goals to be very easy to accomplish within a week’s time. Examples would be taking a workout class, eating a piece of fruit everyday, or going to bed before 10pm.
Set checkpoints and accountability checks to make sure you meet your goals. Our first suggestion is to put gentle reminders and affirmations up around your home. Two examples would be PostIt notes of affirmations on you bathroom mirror or alarms on your phone to remind you to eat healthy and exercise. We also strongly suggest joining a weight loss program or forum where you can interact with others that have similar goals. Having a structured fitness program gives you a routine that you can plan for and buddies to motivate you. Finally, we suggest you create weekly or monthly checkpoints where you evaluate your progress to make sure that you are consistently improving no matter how small the improvements are.
Adjust your diet slowly and don’t overwork your body. Changing your diet and exercise regime too dramatically can result in detox symptoms and fatigue. Try adding one healthy diet and fitness habit to your routine every week. This will help you to feel less overwhelmed with the positive changes you are making to your life and help you to naturally integrate healthy habits in your long term lifestyle.
Pick workouts that you enjoy. The best workout is one that you love to do! Find what brings you happiness whether it is hiking, dancing, martial arts, yoga, biking, weight training, etc. You’ll find that a fun workout makes it much easier to stay consistent.
Alright, you are ready to put your health and fitness plan together for the new year! Good luck and remember that we are always here to answer your health and fitness questions as well as provide the best group fitness classes and personal training options for you to reach your goals!
EFC staff. We want to share our fitness knowledge with you!