- - Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy new dreams
Happy new days
Happy new desires
Happy new ways
Happy new year
Happy new you

As we enter the year 2015, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Entering into the new year brings excitement, reflection, and hope that are often embodied by our New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, many people’s resolutions go “in one year and out the other.” In fact, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolutions. Let’s draw out a clear map to reach our destination so we do not get lost.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know: About My New Year’s Resolutions:

Fuel. Ann Wigmore stated: “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” There is much truth to that. Exotic sports cars exemplify this concept. If we owned a Ferrari, we would pump only the top of the line fuel—no preservatives, nothing fake or artificial. Let us view our bodies as a Ferrari and food is our fuel. Food provides vitamins, nutrients, and energy to sustain us. This year, let’s make wise choices about what we eat, because our Ferrari’s performance depends on it.

Exercise. With our long list of things-to-do, exercising often gets pushed down a few numbers, and, in some instances, dropped altogether. Let’s try to put physical activity in the number one or number two position by incorporating it into our daily routine. It may not be possible to dedicate hours for gym workouts, but we can find at least 15 minutes in our day to take our Ferraris out for a drive. So, whenever possible, take the stairs instead of an elevator, stand up or walk during phone calls, or stretch or do push-ups during commercial breaks. Studies have shown that short bursts of physical activity have a cumulative benefit.

The 4 “A’s” – Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept. “Stress is the trash of modern life. We all generate it. But if we don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake our lives.” Finances, parenting, family, health, work/life balance, and the state of the world today have made it difficult for our ancient stress response to keep up. This year, let’s put into effect a plan to Avoid unnecessary stress, Alter the way we communicate and make decisions, Adapt to the stressor, and Accept the things we 

Sleep. Not having a good night’s sleep can make even the best morph into the Incredible Hulk. Let’s make a commitment to maintain great sleep hygiene in 2015. It will improve our mood, decision-making abilities, and overall health. In 2015, let us stay Dr. David Banner by continuing to make our ZZZ’s a priority. Bye bye Lou.

Gratitude. At the end of October 2014, I started chronicling — every morning and every night — at least three things that I am grateful for. And I am grateful I did. 

Feeling appreciation for what we have can change negative emotions into more positive ones and provide us with greater satisfaction and happiness. Additionally, it has been shown that there are a number of health benefits when we have a genuine feeling of gratitude: better sleep and eating, increased energy and lifespan, and decreased overall illness and depression.

Kindness, Patience and Generosity. My parents provided me invaluable lessons on kindness, compassion, and empathy from as early as I can remember. While I try to embody kindness in all that I do, this year, I will take it up a notch by putting “random acts of kindness” on my daily list of things-to-do. Generosity and kindness can connect us with our community, improve our mental and physical health, and become contagious … and help to reduce our stress levels.

Unplugging. I admit, I used to be a “tech-a-holic.” My day began with checking my email, which wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t checking my emails and texts right before going to bed, and throughout the day. My real eye-opener was when I was almost hit by a car because I was texting while walking across the street. In addition to being a distraction while driving, technology can interfere with our sleep and prevent us from enjoying the moment. Let’s take the time to power down and unplug during meals or when driving or spending time with loved ones.

As we embark upon the New Year, let’s take the time to reflect and plan what we would like to happen in our life this year. Making goals provides us with direction and is the first step towards achieving them. Further, they provide an affirmation to ourselves, our life, and our ability to choose. To that extent, let’s choose to write a great story on the blank pages of the book titled “2015.”

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