Balanced Living

New Years 2014:  A Time for New Intentions, Not Resolutions

Posted by Arja on January 2 in Holistic Health

Happy New Year friends!  There’s something a little bit magical about the start of a new year.  It’s hard not to feel excited and optimistic as we wipe the slate clean, so to speak, and start anew. 

What are you excited about this year?  A new job, a vacation with friends or family, or maybe just a chance to move on from a year that felt challenging?  New Years is also often a time where people embark on new health + wellness goals, and that’s really exciting too!  Goals have been set, Pinterest boards are filling up with healthy recipes, lifestyle strategies and workout inspiration, and people are charging out of the gate with enthusiasm.  I don’t believe in resolutions, per se, but I do love intentions.  Resolutions sounds so black and white (I will lose 10lbs, I will get up every day at 5am, etc.) and often lead to people feeling like they’ve failed if something doesn’t happen exactly as planned. 

Intentions feel flexible, and within that movement comes a chance to adapt as situations change.  I also think that intentions are tied up with happiness.  Why would you intend to do something that brings you less joy, and with increased joy comes positive change. 

Here are some of my intentions this year:

Read more books.  I’ve always loved reading, but I feel like I’m not making as much time for it anymore.  I have a young child, and obviously that means I have less free time on my hands, but by going to bed a little bit earlier I can read for 15-20 minutes before falling asleep.  I also started a book club to inspire me to read more.

Live with less fear.  That’s a pretty big intention, non?  I, like many other people, struggle with mental health issues.  I’ve spent a lot of time learning what the magical formula is (diet, lifestyle, + supplements) that keeps me rolling happily along (and it’s different for everyone!), but that doesn’t mean that sometimes anxiety doesn’t come along and rear its ugly head.  What seem like simple actions or steps to some people can be a pretty big deal for me.  I’m learning that by tackling fears head-on I can prove that not only is something not actually all that fearful, but I also feel really proud of myself for doing it.  I started trying to live with less fear last year, and this year I’d like to take on a few bigger things.

Spend more time with my husband.  Life is busy, and between my growing practice and his long days, weeks go by where we are mostly passing each other like ships in the night.  We keep our little house and family running smoothly, but it doesn’t leave much time for us to connect.  We like being at home, and are often tempted to just lay low in the living room whenever we get a chance, but going out can be fun.  We laugh and are reminded how much fun we still have with each other.  It’s also an opportunity to turn “date night” (something neither of us can really get in to) into something more social by double dating with friends. 

Allow myself more time to relax.  This is not my strong point.  There is always something that needs to be done, whether it’s work-related, or house-related and I find it difficult to sit down when I could be checking something else off my list.  The thing is, I get burnt out very quickly and start craving down time.  I’ve realized that some of my hobbies (sewing, DIY projects) rejuvenate me, and if I allow myself a little time now and again to indulge in them I can both relax and accomplish something!

So tell me, what will bring you joy this year?  I’d love to know what makes you smile and how you plan to do more of it!  Share your pictures and ideas with me on Facebook and tag me in them on Instagram!  Make that your intention.

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.