Unique and Simple Ideas for Moving Towards Health and Wholeness
Many people wish they were living more balanced, holistic, and healthy lives. On some level we all long for increased wellness, yet often feel like the project is too big and that the sacrifices are too hard. Lack of time, money, energy, and other resources are often a reason why people feel stuck in their current way of life. This article intends to give you five simple, easy to implement, and free ways to increase the level of balance in your life. As Lou-tzu the Chinese philosopher wrote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
1. Reserve 5 minutes a day for meditation, and/or prayer.
Many people think that a spiritual practice takes more time than they currently have. However, you can start a meditative or centering prayer practice in as little as five minutes a day. This can be done before you get out of bed in the morning, or when you are drinking your morning coffee. Allow yourself to get into a comfortable position, and begin to focus on your breath. You can also include prayer in this time if you like. Creating just three to five minutes of space for your spiritual self will reduce your stress level and increase you feelings of centeredness throughout the day.
2. Monitor your movement.
Sitting for long periods of time can reduce your energy level, muscle tone, and cause stiffness and pain. Make it a goal to get up at least once an hour, even if it is just to walk to the bathroom or stand up at your desk and stretch. You could even put a sticky note on your computer to remind you. Many people must work at a desk for the majority of their day; however, this does not mean you can’t find small ways to incorporate movement into your life. Movement in your body often leads to movement in your mind. Harness the power of this principle by intentionally incorporating simple movements into your day.
3. Notice your intake.
Spend some time thinking about what you put into your body. This doesn’t have to be just food. It can also include entertainment, relationships, and/or environments. Are you around people and places that breathe life into you? If not, is there a way you can alter this? This may mean bringing a plant to your workspace. This could also look like limiting your time with a negative friend or colleague. Related to food this could mean attempting to incorporate more whole foods into your diet. Think small steps like buying one more item out of the produce section each week. If you are worried about cost, you can always look for the clearance item. Usually something is marked down in the produce section, so you could make it a goal to incorporate that item into your menu. Call it the “clearance challenge.” Don’t try to make all of these changes at once. Take the most pressing area first. What am I taking in this week that is the least life giving for me? How can I alter that in some way? Tackle one thing per week until you have some new, more life-enriching habits.
4. Keep things near.
Did you set new goals at the start of 2013? If so, did you keep a list of them nearby and visible? The old adage, “out of sight out of mind” is really true. Our goals and resources must stay visible and accessible if we stand any chance of using them. If you are trying to start a budget, keep a copy of it on you at all times and keep an envelope of your receipts. If you are trying to read more, keep the book in the bathroom. You know you will at least visit there once a day. If you want to exercise more, keep you shoes and clothes by the door or in your car. Use your email or phone to set reminders to help you remember to take small steps towards your goal every day. Pick one thing this week you will do to increase the visibility of your goals and/or resources
5. Employ the Law of Inertia
The basic gist of this law is that objects in motion will stay in motion, and objects at rest will stay at rest. So, instead of viewing this as a shaming mandate to get moving, view it as an empowering principle that you can harness to help you achieve your goals. This law says that even some action is better than nothing. Breaking your goals into small daily tasks can really help you gain traction towards achievement. For example, if you are looking to improve your friendships, maybe you don’t have time to write a 600 word email, but you can make three minutes to post on someone’s Facebook wall that you are thinking of them. Even small steps to reach out can help you move towards increased closeness with others.
Implementing these five simple steps and the principles in them can be a part of your plan to achieve your goals this year. Small and consistent steps can add up to big changes!