5 Ways to Start the New Year Right!

Health Body, Healthy Mind: 5 Ways to Start the New Year Right!

Oh no! It’s that time of the year again. You’re a year older and you’re faced with 2013’s list of New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re like most of us then that list of resolutions is not complete; in fact, you may not even still have the list from 2013 or remember what was on it. Maybe something about losing weight? Stressing less? Spending more time with your family? As a new year begins, ask yourself what your healthgoals are for 2014, but be realistic. Remember, you’ll feel better about yourself and are more likely to attain your goals if you create practical resolutions.

The Gym:

Be honest. Do you like the gym? Or do you just feel pressured to go because you feel like you need to get in shape? Each new year thousands of people sign up for gym memberships, determined to build muscle and shed pounds. Unfortunately a gym membership only works if you go to the gym. Many members pay each month to have access to a sports center but then rarely use it. What a waste of money!

It could be that a gym is not right for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a lot of self-discipline?
  • When do you have free time to go to the gym? What would your gym schedule be?
  • Do you enjoy working out on your own? Or do you prefer the company of others and a classroom environment?

If you answered ‘no’ to the first question then signing up for classes will be a better way to get fit than a gym membership. If you have children and little free time, then you may not need to sign up for the gym. For example, if you can only work out on Saturdays, then perhaps there is a ‘weekend pass’ or a class you can take every Saturday. Why set yourself up for failure? If you know your schedule will not allow you to hit the weights Monday to Friday, then accept this. Finally, if you prefer to work out on your own, then a sport like jogging could be better for you than a gym pass. If you enjoy working out around others, then a fitness center will be an excellent choice. You might even make new friends at the gym!


Over the holiday season it’s common to indulge in rich foods, sugar, and alcohol. Too much of a good time can result in the post-holidayblues come January, not to mention skin problems and weight-gain. Some people choose to do a fast or detox for three days (or a month) after the holidays to flush their systems of holiday food and alcohol toxins.

How difficult is it to do a three-day detox? During the detox, you eat just whole foods, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and ingest no stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco). This will give your body a break, relax you liver, detox the kidneys and adrenals, and enhance digestion.

Skin and Beauty:

You may feel a bit worn out after the holidays. Sugar and alcohol are fun to consume, but not good for your skin. There are a few easy, natural ways to get your skin looking good again and bring you back to beautiful (or handsome)! This recipe calls for just one, common, household ingredient…


Honey is traditionally known as a natural antibacterial. Honey is also softening and moisturizing. To use honey to cleanse your face put a spoonful of it on your fingers, and spread it over your entire face, then wait two minutes.  Either rinse it off with warm water, or use a washcloth in warm water to slightly exfoliate.

Stress Less & Breathe:

The parties and presents and feasts are over. It’s time to go back to work. Here comes the stress, right? It doesn’t have to be that way. If you start to feel stress coming on, stop, and do one or two of the following:

Sip a chamomile infusion: If you know you’re going to have a stressful day, drink chamomile tea from morning to night.

Essential Oils: lavender essential oil is the classic stress-reducer.  Sniff it, spray it, use it!

Take an aromatherapy bath: baths are relaxing enough, but for some extra stress-relief, add 10 drops of essential oils to the water.

In your steamy bath, take a minute to think about what a great year 2013 was, and all that 2014 has to offer. Feel grateful and relax.



New Year’s Resolutions: (n) an intention or goal set at the beginning of the year for the whole year.

losing weight: (v) to go on a diet or decrease your body size.

goals: (n) an aim or a desired result.

get in shape: (v) to work out or do exercise in order to look and feel better physically.

shed: (v) to discard, lose, remove.

self-discipline: (n) an ability to control your feelings and weaknesses.

set yourself up: (phrasal verb → set up) to create a situation, to make an environment for failure.

jogging: (n) a sport, to run, to go for a run.

too much of a good time: (expression) to drink and eat too much; to drink so much alcohol at a party that you get a hangover or become sick.

blues: (n) to be sad.

a fast: (n) a special diet.

flush: (v) to clean.

worn out: (adj) to be tired, exhausted.

spread: (v) distribute, cover an area with a substance evenly.

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Let’s Talk!

  1. Have you ever made a list of New Year’s Resolutions?
  2. Think about 2014. What changes do you want to make in your life this year? Do you have any special goals?
  3. Think back on 2013; what were some of the best moments of 2013?
  4. Do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? How? What about New Year’s Day?
  5. Is there anything you wish you had done in 2013 that you didn’t get a chance to do?

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