Well the new year is finally upon us, and many of us are still reeling from the past couple weeks of gastronomic excess, and are resolute in our endeavours to get back on track. The list of resolutions may look familiar; after all, New Year’s Day is its own version of Groundhog Day. Haven’t we made these promises before? Most of us accept the idea that getting on the road to good health is one way to lead a happier, more productive life, but we have been on this road before, and have taken short-cuts and detours and have subsequently lost our way to the gym, to yoga, we have strayed from the path to the produce section, bypassing the kale and quinoa only to find ourselves in a drive-thru with a double double rocking the cup holder and a Big Mac wrapper hanging from the emergency break. It happens.
Sometimes making one little change is all it takes to set the wheels in motion, creating a domino effect of positive activity; you may cut down on an old, habitual indulgence that has lead to remorse, or guilt, or you may try something new that opens doors to new experiences. One thing leads to another, and if that one thing is a good thing you are often lead ineluctably to series of events that bear glad tidings.
On the other hand, sometimes that one little change exists unto itself, leading nowhere. Walking a mile a day may not get you to quit smoking, but it’s still a good thing. Cutting down on factory-farmed meats, dairy and eggs will not save the earth overnight. But it’s still a good thing, it’s good for you, and it’s good for the planet.
So let’s keep it simple this year. Let’s make our resolutions tiny, humble, and sustainable. You want to lose a few pounds? Give yourself a year. Unless you are a winter sports enthusiast, January may not be the most ideal time to start an exercise program, and going out for a walk in sub-zero temperatures can be daunting at first. But googling “Yoga for complete beginners”, for example, will give you a choice countless starting points. Nobody expects you to win the gold medal in yoga at the county fair, but starting small and humble is attainable and sustainable, and you can do it on your own time, in your own place, all winter!
If you haven’t been active for a while, this is a great way to start to develop some good core strength and overall flexibility that you will need if you want to expand your activity horizons, or go for that walk by the lake with your BFF on that beautiful, clear crisp winter’s day.
When it comes to making dietary changes, start small as well, there are so many areas where one seemingly insignificant change can make a difference, either as a starting point for bigger and better things, or maybe it’s just its own thing. Just make one small change, Maybe resolve once a week to go meatless. Just once a week! Maybe determine to eat fresh fish once a week, and make it an environmentally friendly Ocean Wise choice. Instead of ordering a double mocha latte next time, try a pot of rooibos tea. Don’t sweat it, don’t deride your efforts, you are on the right road, going to the right place, and baby steps will get you there. Have a safe and Happy New Year!