Want to feel more empowered in 2017?
Resolve to take care of yourself! (2 of 2)
In my first post, we discovered why the foundation of self-empowerment is with personal self-care, that is, care provided for you, by you. Here we will explore four specific resolutions that can start you on a path of personal empowerment now.
#1 Resolve now to be Mindful
The first place to start is by paying attention to our daily lives by pausing to take a breath and turning off our “automatic pilot”. Bringing awareness to our experiences through the practice of paying attention to our present moment in a non-judgmental curious-to-learn way allows us to consider all options and empower ourselves to choose our next priority. Whether applied while eating, working, activity, sleeping or living, mindfulness truly allows us to cultivate self-awareness. Asking ourselves “just why am I doing this now”? Answering honestly and making a non-judgmental real choice about continuing is empowerment. Mindfulness teaches us that each experience is an opportunity to practice and learn from, a prerequisite for enhanced personal growth and empowerment.
#2 Resolve to balance your Nutrition
Nutrition has a huge impact on both physical and mental health and is consequently vital for empowerment. Energy, weight, illness, sleep, activity, stress and mood are all linked to balanced nutrition. Diet plays a vital role in concentration, analytical skills, alertness, focus and productivity - key drivers of confidence, self-esteem and well-being. Imagine combining mindfulness resolution #1 here and getting into the habit of asking ourselves “am I hungry?” or “what do I really need?” before choosing to eat. Might this empower us to approach our nutrition differently? Proper nutrition is also crucial for the other self-care resolutions!
#3 Resolve to get regular Physical Activity
There is overwhelming evidence that people leading active lifestyles are healthier, sleep better and are more likely to live longer. Regular activity not only improves physical fitness but also improves mental health, mood, stress levels and our general sense of well-being. In my experience, a regular exercise routine often compels people to approach fitness in a more holistic fashion, leading to a healthier lifestyle in every way. This subsequently allows us to take full charge of our personal well-being on all levels. All of this leads to improved self-image, a sense of pride and feeling empowered in one's choices. Once again, resolutions #1 and #2 can help us in our choices about activity…not just moving to move, but choosing to move (or not!) because of how it makes us feel right now.
#4 Resolve to prioritize Sleep
Brain (cognitive) functions including the ability to concentrate, pay attention, react quickly, be creative, innovate, solve problems and make decisions are all less effective when we’re tired. Insufficient sleep can also lead to a greater appetite which, in turn, can increase the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese. Lack of sufficient sleep makes us more susceptible to stress, more likely to suffer from depression and tends to make us more emotional, irritable, grumpy and short tempered. In short, lack of sleep slaughters empowerment. Resolutions #1, #2 and #3 can all help us sleep better. Mindfully prioritizing sleep or relaxation, eating well to promote better recovery and exercising regularly to keep our sleep hormones in balance all feed into my full empowerment concept.
So, having gone through these four resolutions, have you discovered where are you stuck? Do you know which resolutions will help you thrive and feel empowered now? I sincerely hope that this has helped you make a plan for 2017 and that you now know what to do. The only question remaining, is will it actually motivate you to do it? If you are honest with yourself and discover that you need that nudge to empower you from knowing to doing, make 2017 different! Reach for the support and accountability to prepare for an amazing new year, beginning with YOU!