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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my good friend, Lauren, author of Lauren Fowler. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and yoga teacher who promotes a non-diet approach to nutrition and health. She wants everyone to connect to their bodies intuitive wisdom rather than following diets. She encourages the tools of intuitive eating and health at every size. Stop by LaurenFlower.co to read more about nutrition, intuitive eating, heart-based health, and yoga.}

Do you remember last year’s New Year’s resolution?

I didn’t set them last year, but in the past, they were long forgotten even 2-3 months into the year. Research estimates only ~8% of people actually follow through on their resolutions.

Too often, resolutions are complete overhauls of your life with the promise of creating a whole new, amazing life for the next year – you know a brand-new diet and workout plan to get you in shape fast. Yet, that only lasts a week or too before self-sabotage sets in.

Making extreme, overnight changes rarely works, and it’s certainly not the way to create a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable. The good news is it’s totally possible to build the healthy lifestyle you’re dreaming of in simple steps. Setting healthy intentions and using the power of daily rituals can help guide you there.

First, I want you to take a few minutes to ask yourself:

“How do you want to feel this year?”

Seriously, it’s a simple question, but when I did The Desire Map for the first time last year, it changed my approach to everything. Instead of setting “goals,” I now set intentions based on my core desired feelings. How I want to feel – freedom, playful, blissful – guides my intentions and goals, and that’s what makes me 150% more likely to reach them these days.

Now, let’s chat about simple health rituals you can start today. Commit to choosing 2-3 daily health rituals for the next month. Aim to do them around the same time each day to make them into a routine for you, and try to do one of them first thing in the morning, if you can. Start with simple and realistic ones that you know you can fit in – for example, starting with a daily 15 minute walk vs a 1-hour gym workout. I like to choose rituals that benefit my physical health, as well as my emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being as well.

7 Simple Daily Health Rituals

Here’s a list of ideas you can choose from, but feel free to come up with your own (& share with me!):

  1. Start your day with warm water and lemon and/or herbal tea. I love warm water and lemon first thing in the morning, usually followed by ginger tea. It rehydrates my skin after sleeping all night, which is essential, especially if you have dry winter skin. It’s a gentle way to start my day rather than a jolting cup of coffee, and it feels detoxifying to my body. Plus, I love all things ginger!
  2. Move your body. Set an intention to move your body in anyway you love daily. It doesn’t have to be a “workout” at the gym. If you’re getting out of a sedentary rut, start simple. Start with a daily 15-minute walk, a 20 minute yoga flow, or body weight movements like squats and pushups. Make it social by inviting a friend on your walk. Make it fun by playing around in handstands or putting on fun music. You’re definitely welcome to add other workouts or exercise – the key here is just to MOVE your body to get your energy and creativity flowing. A quick walk late afternoon works wonders for when my energy drops around that time!
  3. Give yourself a bedtime. It’s so easy to just goof around online or watch another Netflix show late at night, but getting enough sleep is essential for energy, immune health, and so much more. Set yourself a bedtime around 10 pm, or gradually get to bed earlier each night. If you’re not used to an early bedtime, just climb into bed around that time and read to calm your nervous system down.
  4. Cook at least one meal a day. It’s time to get back in the kitchen! We spend a ton of money on take-out or quick convenience food that often is lacking in nutrition. Start by getting in your kitchen to cook at least one of your meals a daily. Find interesting and simple new recipes, and just get started. Take time to actually cook rather than throw ingredients into a bowl and microwave. If you already cook regularly, try out new recipes!
  5. Add in 10 minutes of “Relaxation” Time. Schedule in 10 minutes (or more) of your day just to relax and be. You can do whatever you’d like in this time – meditate, breathe, stretch, hangout with your legs up a wall, or just take a mini-nap. Taking intentional time to relax gets us out of the chronic stress state most of us live in and helps us calm our nervous system down to reduce stress. Plus, it feels SO good just to have free time to relax!
  6. Dry-brush or jump on a rebounder. Now, this is a fun one! Get yourself a mini-trampoline or a dry-brush to get your lymphatic system (& liver!) in shape. This is a quick way to boost your energy, create glowing skin, and just feel better in a few minutes a day.
  7. Do a morning ‘check-in’ (this is my favorite one!). Before you grab your phone to check email first thing in the morning, take a few minutes to check-in with yourself. How does your body physically feel? What are you thinking about? How do you feel emotionally? By checking in with all parts of yourself, you can tune into your needs on a deeper level. If you’re feeling sore and tired, maybe you’ll decide to sleep in a bit rather than going to the early morning crossfit class. If you’re feeling anxious, you can ask yourself what you need to do like journal or meditate to help start your day on a positive note.

Rituals may be much simpler than grandiose New Year’s resolutions, but when you make them fun, realistic, and simple, they’ll naturally become habits in your day. They can help create a moment in your day to connect to your needs and relax a bit in the middle of your stressful day. If you change them up every month or so, by the end of the year, you can potentially have a whole bunch of new habits compared to forgotten resolutions.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on social media!

  • What 2-3 rituals do you want to add to your daily routine this New Year?
  • How can you make them part of your day (an alarm, post-it note, accountability friend)?

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