Happy New Year! Another year to start fresh and create a secret resolution to-do list. Hmm… Then, as months go by, guilt catches up with us while watching some of those items or dreams go untouched. There is always a "tomorrow" and a "better day" to start what we planned. Next, our list is put aside and it becomes our "new list" in the upcoming year. Sound familiar? If the answer is yes, there is only one person who can change it regardless of the circumstances: you.
We all need a reminder, including myself, that we cannot control all negative circumstances in life; however we can still control how we live our lives and how we face every situation. Regardless of circumstances, we have a "choice to make the best of an unfortunate situation"; we have a choice "to change our lives". It's true, the circumstances vary in every household but you still have a choice to strengthen your emotions and choose change!
Easier said than done! Indeed, we are in control as long as we decide to make a choice and avoid procrastination. Here are a few pointers on how to get things done.
Exercise and nutrition. I cannot stress enough the need for our bodies to exercise and obtain good fuel through the consumption of proper nutrients. When you exercise, the brain recognizes exercising as a moment of stress so endorphins are released in your brain which fights stress and depression. Your heart pressure also increases, so the brain releases another protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Endorphins and BDNF combined make us feel happier and more productive. BDFN is important for long-term memory, and is active in the hippocampus which is a vital area that affects learning and higher thinking.
Starting to exercise regularly is easier written than done, I completely agree! So how do we build healthy habits?
First, get some sunshine! Sunlight in moderation boosts serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite. So if you are working out indoors, make sure you open those windows as often as possible and enjoy the sunshine and complimentary Vitamin D which is produced in response to sun exposure! Here's a link with more information about the benefits of Vitamin D.
Second, try placing your workout clothes by the alarm clock with a picture of a happy and healthier you. When you start your workout, do less than you originally intended and increase the time every week. Many people start a new workout program but few stick to it. The reason? It becomes boring, painful, and the results are slow. Instead, try sticking with a routine and improving your skills. Remember, although you reach a certain level of happiness for your accomplishments when you start a new hard routine, it's better to start slowly and maintain happiness and a workout discipline for life. Without this healthy discipline and action, it's very difficult to maintain that sense of happiness achieved during exercise. Here is a link for healthy eating support.
Create a goal list. Try a short term and long term goal list and place where you'll see it most often. Write the steps to follow and achieve those goals. Find the time of the day you feel rested and more motivated to do the hardest tasks. Do not get discouraged if things do not go as expected, have a different game plan in case something doesn't work out. Remember, you might not be in control of every outcome, but you are in control of how you face your obstacles. Life goes on and every step toward your goals is a step towards your ultimate dream!
Be nice to yourself and learn from your mistakes. As previously mentioned, if something doesn't go the way you expected, remember to analyze the situation and your approach. We all experience set backs and you could become your biggest obstacle when things don't go your way. Remember your successes and take time to meditate and rethink your game plan. We all have a special talent waiting to be shared and perfected.
Last, try a hobby, a volunteer opportunity, or enroll in an educational program! If you are considering upgrading your academic skills, the Deafblind Adult Literacy programs at CNIB offer many opportunities and guidance for career and personal development. Each instructor understand the needs of the Deafblind community and can provide instruction in your preferred method of communication. We also have assistive technology and specialized training to help you reach your goals. For more information, please contact the CNIB helpline at: 1 800-563-2642. If you do not have a combined vision and hearing loss and require more information regarding Literacy programs, please contact: http://www.communityliteracyofontario.ca/ .
Cheers to a happy and successful year!