5 Great Habits to Establish in 2017

I get it, resolutions can be hard to stick with. Although I highly encourage setting large goals without limitation, I have found that making small changes end up having the greatest benefit and most lasting effects on health and wellbeing. Start with these simple, yet profound 5 habits to have your best, most fulfilling year yet!

1. Gratitude
There is always something to be grateful for. Whether it is as simple as the clothes on your back, or as deluxe as an upcoming vacation at a 5-star resort, gratitude can be found everywhere. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that a conscious focus on blessings has multiple emotional and interpersonal benefits. Amazing that a simple shift in mindset can greatly improve mood, as well as improve the relationships we have with others!
       Tip: Make it a practice to write 5 things down on a piece of paper once daily. Keep a paper and pen by your bed and do it as a wonderful start to the day or as a peaceful closing to your night.

2. Eat More Fat
Yes, you read that right. Throw out all those non-fat milks and low fat salad dressings. Healthy fat is the new superfood! Following a high fat diet can do wonders for your health, but it must be accompanied with a very low carbohydrate intake. Nutritional Ketosis is a diet that comprises of 50% fat, then around 20% non-starchy vegetables, 20% protein, and 5% fruit.
       Tip: Enjoy your next cup of coffee or tea blended with 1-3 tsp of coconut oil. This creamy, high fat drink will leave you with a boost of energy and direct nutrition to your brain. Check out this recipe for Bulletproof Coffee to really jump start your morning!

3. Squat
We all know how important exercise is to your health. Exercising should be done daily to keep your body young and your health thriving. One of the most important exercises to include in your routine is the squat. Squatting is one of the best ways to build more muscle, burn more fat, become less prone to injury and tone up the backside. By practicing the squat movement, back and knee pain can often resolve! Starting with body weight and using a chair for assistance can be a great first step for those with knee or back issues. Remember that form is the most important thing when it comes to squatting. Ask your doctor before starting any new exercise.
       Tip: Start with 5-10 air squats daily to get comfortable with the movement; modify as needed! Make sure you have proper form before starting by checking out this article and video.

4. Meditation and Prayer
Stress is an inevitable part of life that can have a negative impact on our health. Making sure to learn proper coping mechanisms when things do become overwhelming will be essential to keeping yourself healthy this year. Many scientific studies prove the benefits of meditation, in addition to stress reduction; positive effects on high blood pressure, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, and insomnia have all been scientifically proven!
       Tip: Download the Headspace app to guide you through the first ten days of meditation, I bet you will be hooked!

5. GIVE!
Tony Robbins believes “the secret to life is giving” and I do too.  It’s so easy to get caught up in our bills and life expenses that we often forget to give back to our community. Whether it is volunteering for a local organization, donating money to a cause, or surprising a friend with a small gift of appreciation, there are so many ways to give to others that end up filling YOU up with love, connectedness, and kindness. “Whenever you give, it will always come back to you. When we contribute to our community, we become part of something that is bigger than ourselves.” – Tony Robbins
       Tip: Practice the simple yet profound art of giving. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line, make a meal for a friend with a busy schedule, donate socks to a local homeless organization. Studies have found that even wishing someone happiness can have a positive effect. Watch how the more you give, the more love, joy, and happiness will come back to you!

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