Step 1. Be Brave - Fitting Out
One way to "be brave" is to "fit out" by being you. You don't have to change who you are to fit into any group or organization. Actually by bringing your own unique gifts and talents, you can be an asset anywhere you go! We live in a society where everyone follows someone famous or someone popular because we feel that person has something special that we don't have. The good news is that we ALL have something special to offer the world; we just need the self-confidence to believe in ourselves. Take the chance to shine even though you feel afraid. You just might find that there are a lot of people who really admire the "real" you!
Step 2. Food - "Adding In" and "Crowding Out"
Trying to eat healthy can feel like a daunting experience. We are always on the look out for the latest diet or exercise program, when in fact it's very simple to lose weight and get healthier. One thing you can do is to "add in" the healthy foods and "crowd out" the processed stuff. You can start by adding in more water and stop drinking soda or large coffee drinks. Eat a small side salad or vegetables instead of french fries. Substitute greens instead of that bun with your burger. Just these small changes will ultimately help you to start to feel better. Cutting back on sugar, white flour and unhealthy fats in processed foods are the beginning of a healthy future!
Step 3. Get Moving
Maybe we should change the word "exercise" to "movement." Sometimes just saying "exercise" makes us feel like it's a chore that we know we should do, but really don't feel like it. Finding just the right movement will help us to look forward to doing something fun and good for our body. Depending on where you live in the country will help you to find the right outdoor activity. Here in the northeast, the winters are tough so we do more indoor activities, but in the spring we are riding bikes, playing tennis, walking and gardening, all things we enjoy. Find that perfect fit and you will be on your way to a toned and fit body!
Step 4. Be Involved
Getting involved is really easy to do. Just by helping out at home or with your neighbors is a worthwhile endeavor that we can all do. There are also many places that you can join a movement to help others with community service and volunteering. Schools, workplaces, churches, and organizations are great places to start if you feel the calling of working for a cause. You could even start your own movement to help others. Having community service or volunteering on your resume, helps with your college application and when applying for a job.
Step 5. Get Your Zzzs
Sleep is one of the most important things our bodies need besides food to keep us healthy. It improves our memory, keeps us at a healthy weight, reduces our stress, and helps decrease anxiety and depression. It gives our body and mind a chance to renew and regenerate when we give it the downtime it needs. Optimum sleep for most is 7-8 hours a night. Try to get to bed at the same time every night, turn off electronics one hour before sleep, don't drink caffeine too close to bedtime and keep your bedroom cool and clutter-free for a restful night's sleep. You will feel great in the morning and ready to take on the world!
Step 6. Be Grateful
Are we grateful? We have so much to be grateful for...it's our choice. We can look at all the things we don't have or things we don't like about ourselves, or we can appreciate all we have and all that we are. Gratitude makes us happy even when things are not going our way. When we appreciate others for who they are and what they have done to make our lives more special, we are truly living! There are so many negative things happening in the world today, let's look at all the positive things taking place right now in our own life, community, town, city and state.
Step 7. Be Sustainable
What is sustainability concerning the environment and our planet? It means we are not harming our environment by depleting our natural resources and by supporting the long-term ecological balance. We constantly hear the terms "recycling" and "saving energy." A new term is "upcycling" which means that items produced get reused so that they don't end up in landfills. We all need to do our part in being sustainable and reducing our carbon footprint. Make sure we are recycling everything instead of just throwing it in the trash, shutting off the lights when we leave a room, taking shorter showers and carpooling to work or school are just some of the ways we can become more sustainable.
By making these simple lifestyle changes, we can become the brave and amazing people we were meant to be!