Making Resolutions vs. Making Space

Shahada Karim

It’s that time of year, when the gyms look less like a place to wgym memeork out and more like a stadium on Superbowl Sunday. Millions of people will pack into fitness centers, gyms and yoga studios across the country in hopes of fulfilling that age-old resolution to lose weight. Millions more will make impractical plans to save money to the detriment of their daily lives and happiness. And so it goes.

The start of the year means a start to a renewed effort to promise to do all the things that we think will make us better, and (more interestingly) make people perceive us as better… thinner… more healthy, ect. If millions of people make resolutions every year, millions more make the same resolutions they did the year before and the year before that with the hopes that this time, maybe it’ll be different.

Be reminded of the popular definition of insanity.

There is a reason that resolutions don’t typically work. Often, resolutions are massive wishes without a practical plan to achieve them. And sometimes, resolutions are simply clutter. If you think of each resolution as a box in a room… the more you make, the more space it takes up. And the more years you make the same resolution, the longer that box sits in that place taking up space and gathering dust and serving no purpose other than to remind you of the thing you have not done yet.

The other edge to that blade is that sometimes resolutions can become crutches. If you make the same resolutions, they may prevent you from moving ahead until you feel you’ve achieved them first. For example, maybe you can’t vacation somewhere tropical because you can’t wear a bikini because you haven’t fulfilled the resolution to lose weight. How much are your resolutions holding you back from growing and experiencing new things? If you’re hanging onto a resolution it might be time to ask yourself why, and maybe have the courage to let it go.

Instead of making resolutions, I propose making space. Instead of cluttering the room with more boxes and rearranging existing boxes, work to clear them away. Clearance does not mean giving up; instead it asks you to humble yourself to the idea of opening up to another way. Think about it: can you clearly think in a cluttered room? Can you find pleasure in getting dressed from an overcrowded and cluttered closet?

It is through making space that we find new pathways and see more clearly ahead to an idea that might not have occurred to us otherwise. And as you make space, use it to outline specific plans and make small achievable goals. Accomplishing a small goal gives us a sense of accomplishment andmoney helps us to reach higher and further to the next goal. If the resolution is losing weight, maybe the goal is going to the gym once a week for two weeks, then twice a week for two weeks, then three times… and so on. If the resolution is saving money, maybe the goal is $10 in an automatically debited savings plan every week for one month, then $25, then $50 and so on. Consistency builds habits, and habits lead to lifestyle changes that last longer than any resolution ever has.

Resolutions are not necessarily bad things. But if you find yourself making more resolutions than achieving them, it may be time to try making space instead.

She SAID: Travel Light

Terri Kennerson

‘Tis the season to hop on the first thing smokin’ and head to friends, family or wherever else for the Holidays. Once upon a time, it was chic to shove an entire home into as many suitcases as possible. Fortunately,holiday travel those days are long gone. The more one travels, the more necessary it becomes to pack light, multitask, and eliminate anything that doesn’t serve a specific purpose. The ultimate goal might actually be to fit everything into a carry-on, no matter how long the stay away from home.

The Rose Cleansing Stick from SUM:37 might be the most convenient cleanser we’ve ever used. With 90% natural ingredients, including fermented damask rose, this formula manages hydrate and smooth skin even as it removes dirt and oil. And because it comes in its own built-in case, there’s no messy residue to deal with from traditional bars, or spillage with liquid cleansers.

This Laundry Bag from The Container Store does holiday travel 2a stylish job of separating your dirty clothes on the road. Even with laundry services at hotels (and the washer/dryer at a relative’s house), it’s nice to have the holiday travel 3option to stack your laundry before you have to actually address it.

If we’re being completely honest, of the hardest things to do while on the road is to stay in shape. We promise to go to the local/hotel gym, maybe do a little yoga… but in our heart of hearts we know it’s all smoke. Add to that the inclination to eat everything in sight and the result is almost always unwanted pounds by the time we touch down at home. Commit to a couple of minutes with a TRX resistance cord, which will both lengthen and strengthen muscles. No gym membership required.

She SAID: Fresh Diet… Delivered

Terri Kennerson

A quick internet search will net you any given number of diet remedies and so-called perfect solutions to help you lose weight and reveal your best self. The thing that most of these deals have in common is the notion of a quick fix or a short term solution. Any freshdiet2amount of common sense dictates that 1) there’s no such thing as a quick fix, and 2) the key to losing weight and keeping it off comes with a shift in lifestyle food and exercise choices.

The Fresh Diet is out to convince more people to play the long game in the battle of the bulge. With daily deliveries of 3 meals (and two snacks) based on a Mediterraean Diet, Fresh Diet Fairies (their words, not mine) arrange fresh selections based on your dietary likes and dislikes. The food is actually fresh… never frozen or freeze dried. You can choose meal plans to suit your needs (and wallet) over the  period of a week or month.

The Fresh Diet delivers to 12 states (including 44 metro areas and nearly 600 cities) in the continental United States.

While The Fresh Diet doesn’t make any outrageous dietary claims, they do keep daily deliveries to a specififreshdiet3c number of calories, based on gender. The idea is that with a steady diet of fresh ingredients and balanced meals, your body will have no choice but to shed excess weight.

Prepare to pay for the privilege of having your meals delivered daily. A month-long program runs more than $1,000. If you don’t spend nearly that much on food regularly, such a price tag may cause you to pause. If you’re not sure how much you actually spend on food weekly/monthly… it might be time to revisit the ol’ budget. It is absolutely possible to plan, prepare, and enjoy the same kinds of meals on your own, likely for much less. But because the plan is specifically designed for busy people with no time for such trivialities, the question becomes… why would you want to?

We SAID: Autumn Adjustments

Staff Writer

Many of us are subconciously gearing up for hibernation mode; the Holiday Season is kind of here (the shopping season is already in full swing for millions of Americans) and that means a nearly guaranteed 15-20 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even the best laid workout plans tend to take a back seat to planning for friends, family and Holiday faire. Before you know it, you can no longer blame too-tight jeans on a marathon session in the dryer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

One of the most common causes for workout setbacks is the failure to adjust for thautumnworkout3e season. The way you worked out in the Spring and Summer months might not translate to Autumn and Winter. Long outdoor runs or cycling sessions can be uncomfortable, if not downright hazardous in cold and wet weather. Weekend workouts in the park obviously won’t have the same appeal.

Adjust Your Scenery

If you normally workout outdoors, consider taking the routine inside for the season. If the general atmosphere of your local gym doesn’t appeal to you, consider specialized studios for Spin, Crossfit, Dance, Martial Arts or Yoga. Switching up will not only keep you interested and potentially consistent in your workout goals, it will open you up to new possibilities, people, and opportunities to expand your physical and mental capacity. Plus, Cupid might be hanging around to set you up with a special blessing. We know a guy who first went to  yoga to pick up spiritually open, physically fit women (we’re not saying his initial intentions were noble. But hey, people can change). He’s now married, two kids, and living his best life with the coolest yoga teacher you ever did meet. Just saying.

Adjust Your Diet

We know… so much easier said than done. But mindfully shifting toward a diet better suited for colder months will help keep you on track in terms of health and wellness. Heat-bearing foods like Walnuts and Nutmeg can go a long way to helping you maintain a cozy feeling of fullness without overdoing it. Cut back on ‘spike-worthy’ ingredients like processed sugars that can send your energy through the roof, and bring you crashing down. A dash of cayenne in dishes things like spaghetti (with ground turkey and gluten free pasta) can help you burn a couple of extra calories without your taste buds ever figuring out the difference.autumnworkout2

Adjust Your Attitude

Becoming aware of the changes outside your window, can help you adjust to the changes inside your body. Make a list or keep a journal, and refer to it each day to keep your diet and exercise routine on track. A physical account keeps you honest about everything you eat and do, including that quick bite of a cookie or walking out on the second  half of a strenuous group exercise class. Keeping track of what you eat, and when and how you work out can go a long way to avoiding unwanted Holiday pounds… and the perpetual need for a ‘weight loss’ resolution come the New Year.

She SAID: A Tasty Drink… to Your Health

Terri Kennerson

By now, the idea of a juice cleanse is about as common as a gym membership. The industry is truly survival of the fittest (we will ever mourn the passing of The Real Juice), with pressed juice outfits opening and closing faster than you can say organic protein smoothie. The novelty of a juice cleanse is often met with the reality of what it means to actually ingest and keep down any number of blends for longer than an hour or two. At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste.

PRESSED JUICERYjuicing

Pressed might be winning the taste war against even the most established juice joints. Their blends contain all the right ingredients, but they’ve seemed to manage the balance between sweet and savory better than the competition. Two of the best examples lie in the Yuzu Jalepeno juice (yes, they use real jalepenos) and the Charcoal Coconut Water (what?). All of the blends go down easy with minimal fear of a gag reflex. Proof that what’s good for you can also be good to you, and that it’s never a good idea to judge a … bottle… by its cover.

BLUEPRINT

A lonjuicing1g established cult favorite (we’re still trying to figure out what ritual sacrifice put this company so far ahead) and celebrity-endorsed health choice, Blueprint is an easy find both in national grocery chains and online. Despite the relatively cheap cost of most ingredients, you can still expect to pay a pretty penny for a bottle of Blueprint’s juiced goodness. Much like Pressed Juicery, the blends go down easy.  The difference here is that the ingredients are easy to sort in terms of taste, so there’s less of a fear factor. That’s good news if you’re new to the juicing game, or just don’t want to take the chance that something might be as gross inside the bottle as it looks on the outside.

SUJA

Like Blueprint, SUJA is making its way into the national consciousness, one bottle at a time. Unlike Blueprint, the blends lean more toward an experienced juicer than a juicing2novice. As much as we understand the benefits of celery, making it a primary part of most juices is just not that appealing. On the up side, some of the green blends are heavily masked with fruit and feel more like a smoothie than a juice. We’re also huge fans of how they sneak in just enough ginger to enhance (not heat) the blend. With an ever growing selection popping up on store shelves, and a choice of sizes (and prices), SUJA is easily on the way to becoming a household name.

Like anything, the way these juices are used pretty much determine their effectiveness. If you’re taking them with a meal instead of as a meal replacement, you might look down one day and see a little extra love around those handles. Users may primarily down these babies to drop a pound or two (or clear up some gastric thing or another), but with an increasing number of tasty blends, more people might just pick one up because it tastes good…

And it’s good for you.

Imagine that.