5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

Winding Down & Shifting Gears

The holidays are always an epic display of twinkling lights, iPhone portrait moments, gift-giving action, and a merry-making smorgasbord of delicious eats and drink. The magic of Christmas brings back childhood nostalgia, and memories in-the-making with family and friends. After a month-long cycle of feasting, I’m ready for a bit of detox and self-improvement.

New Year’s resolution – it’s that time again! This is where a pen and notepad come in handy, and I prioritize smart resolutions. Scouring the Internet, the Huffington Post quotes Amanda Stemen, a therapist and coach, who defines SMART as “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely” goals. I’ve prioritized resolutions to an achievable list of five, which may resonate with you.

1) Follow through on a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Why start out easy? I want to focus on a major goal that can have life-changing implications and take me out of my comfort zone. You probably have a BHAG that you’ve been ruminating about, and 2019 may just be the year to see it through.

2) Focus on the most important things and filter out the noise. With all the distractions that exist in this world, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to focus on what’s most important. This is where I focus on the most important things and people in my life. Happy and successful people are able to do this well.

3) Cook more and keep a bowl of fresh fruit visible at all times. It’s so easy to eat out or get take away on any given day, but I appreciate the process of cooking and creating healthier meals that contribute to longevity. I’ll have my cheat days, but overall I am committed to cooking more and being more mindful about what I eat.

4) Declutter with more of a minimalist mindset. I’ve been inspired by Marie Kondo’s book on the magic of tidying, and she makes the concept of cleaning as a life-changing revelation. I love the concept of only keeping items that have repeat utility and spark joy. Less is definitely more.

5) More family time in an analog kind of way. This is where we put technology aside and focus on activities that are fun and enriching for the family. Rediscovering classic board games, reading books, baking, exploring, and getting craft-y together.

Cheers to you and have a happy new year!

5 Posture Improving Habits

TBT group photo (years ago), channeling my inner Grace Kelly stance.

Straighten up when you stand

Grace Kelly epitomized Hollywood glamour and was the original American-born screen actress turned real-life princess of Monaco. Trained in ballet, Grace was universally remembered for her elegant posture. A great posture can have a lengthening effect, and help you ooze confidence.

What’s the deal with your back?

Did you know that the Back is the #1 chief chronic complaint? Just think about the punishing bad habits that have led to back and neck issues.

You’re probably guilty of some of these. Raise your hand if you:

  • Unconsciously stoop forward, slouching when standing or walking
  • Text or play mobile games with your neck bent forward
  • Hunch over your laptop/computer at work for hours (years)
  • Play Fortnite: Battle Royale (and other video games) for hours
  • Chase after your kids, continually picking up after them.
  • Lift heavy objects (i.e. furniture, boxes)
  • [Moms] Have experienced back pain while pregnant or nursing
  • Engage in strenuous contact sports or gym activities
  • Have been in an accident at some point that caused physical injury

Technology is a major culprit — an enabler of bad posture. So, let’s talk about five things you can do to improve your posture today.

1) Roll your shoulders back and straighten up

When you’re standing, become self-aware of how you carry yourself. Avoid the stoop where you roll your shoulders forward (hunch back pose). Do the opposite, roll your shoulders back so the shoulder blades are closer together.  Tighten your abs, and you’ll see a nice flattening effect on your tummy and appear more elongated. Channel your inner Grace Kelly or inner James Bond (OG Sean Connery or Daniel Craig).

2) Step away from tech (literally)

Instead of spending hours on the couch texting, shopping on Amazon, playing mobile games, and commenting/posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat — take a break and step away. Limber up and take breaks every hour.

3) Stop leaning into your laptop

Whether you’re writing a blog post, poring over a detailed spreadsheet, or coding like a rebel genius Cameron Howe — stop leaning over your screen. Slouching forward is just bad for your back and neck. Increase the font size and elevate your laptop, so you avoid the lean-in effect.

4) Stop tech neck + invest in a stand

With your smartphone in your lap, you look down — again and again. Avoid having to look down on your mobile device. Find a handy solution so you’re not constantly hunching over your device. You can even order a special stand to take some of that pressure off your hand.

5) Project confidence (state of mind)

An attitude shift can help you establish healthier habits, and even help you work on better posture. And, at the very least, avoid really bad habits as it relates to slouching and hunching.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s practical fiver!