2016: It's personal

A few thoughts on your personal health journey:

Promise to simplify. Life is busy and mental clutter makes our heads spin even faster. We want to be better, thinner, faster, richer, happier, healthier, but we don’t really have a path in mind. Adding tension with deprivation and products that drain our budget defeats the spirit of health resolutions. Clean food is simple food, walking is simple fitness, meditation/prayer is simple stress reduction. Call a truce on overstimulation, self-loathing, chasing someone else’s health goals, and perfection.

Assess your health. Wellness is multi-dimensional and occurs in stages of awareness. Physical, mental, and spiritual wellness are intricately intertwined. If we know our health strengths and challenges, we’ll know where to spend our energies. Yes, we should probably move more, and eat more plants, but before we frantically stockpile the latest superfood supplement, we’d best know our current state.

Prioritize. What’s most important for our wellness? Heart health, blood pressure, increased energy, depression management? Work on the big things first. Permission to put the rest on hold until the big health issues are stabilized. Often, working on priority health issues improves secondary concerns. Remember, long term wellness occurs on a continuum. Attempting too many changes at one time is often a set up for failure.

Be aware. We’re bombarded with marketing messages, especially from the diet industry. $60 million later, only 5% of us will succeed. Every approach from fearful Eat This Or Die to wild Success Stories are used. The latest study is blindly accepted as valid. I suggest eliminating sources of recycled misinformation. Sometimes, practitioners unintentionally overstep their scope of practice. In most cases, yoga instructors aren’t healers, personal trainers aren’t registered dietitians, health coaches aren’t diagnosticians, bloggers aren’t clinicians. All of these professions add a tremendous layer of support for wellness, and may be key players in our health journey, but best to run supplement/product/scary practices by health professionals who know our individual health history.

Take charge. It’s personal. Make changes that feel sustainable. The goal is to have healthier choices seamlessly fold into daily living patterns. A straight forward approach to health, with smooth transitions through the stages of awareness. Yes, we can make it complicated, but let’s try to keep our focus on simplicity.

Have a happy, healthy New Year,