20 Ways to Rock Your Year, Part II (think sunshine sessions, pill popping and more sex*)

Last month we celebrated the start of the new year with the first 10 of a top 20 list: selected suggestions on ways to rock out your 2011.

So, you can guess what I’ve got for you this month: the next 10.

These aren’t your usual tips (well, okay, you might be able to guess the first one).  They are, however, all things that I’ve used, that my clients use, that have offered results and infused light into many, many lives.

Which will you choose to help guide you towards a better-than-ever year?

#11   |   Stop smoking.  Now. Let’s start with a basic-but-couldn’t-be-more-important one, and let’s be perfectly unapologetic here: smoking slowly kills you (or at least 5 million of your friends). When you smoke, you are actually killing your cells (and, I’d offer, yourself).  Buy a patch.  Get gum.  Join a support circle.  Try those new electric gadgets.  Or go cold turkey.

If it seems impossible, try this personal story on for inspiration: when my younger brother, Charles, was really young — to the tune of 4 years old — he and my dad would go fishing.  On one of these beautiful bonding trips, this couldn’t-be-cuter kid had busied his brain about our dad’s cigarette habit, and proclaimed “Daddy, I want you to stop smoking.” When dad replied, “why’s that, son?” he responded, very matter-of-factly, “because if you die you can’t take me fishing.”  It stopped that day. It can be done.  DO IT.

#12   |   Get outside at least 3 times a week. While our society is better protected now than ever from the sun’s harmful rays, we’re actually not getting enough of the sun’s good stuff, often due to long work hours indoors and winter weather (which can alter Vitamin D availability).  Change that this year.  Ask your doctor for how much you need, but a good baseline is 10 minutes’ exposure.

#13   |   See beauty often. Gorgeous things can be found all around town.  Look for the kindness in a person’s eyes, engage with the enormous, cloudless sky overhead, admire a stunningly plated dish before you devour it.

#14   |   Get a physical once this year.  Pay attention. See.  Your.  Doctor.  At least annually.  No matter how healthy you appear, it’s always a good idea to check in with your physician at least once every 1-2 years.  Ask questions.  Do the random battery of tests.  Check in before you check out.

#15   |   Take a multivitamin every day. Generic or brand name.  Chewable or whole.  Adult or kids (really).

#16   |   Sleep as close to 8 hours a night as humanly possible. I know it’s hard to do every night, but make it a priority.  When you do have extra time to watch a movie before bed or catch up on a bunch of emails, do me a favor and turn it off.  As an experiment, go to bed one night at or before 9 p.m., see how you feel when you wake up, and then thank me in the morning.

#17   |   Have sex at least 2x/week.* The above notwithstanding, sex is an excellent barometer for your overall health.  WebMD, Newsweek, Dr. Oz, ABC News, Men’s Health Magazine and expert Dr. Laura Berman all agree.  Get busy.

*Consenting adults only, of course. Underage readers, please rock regular exercise for the same results.

#18   |   Write stuff down whenever you can. Keep a journal of your goals, of what’s going on as you move through the months of the year, of your feelings about those goings on.  Use your notes as information on how authentic your actions are to your ideal plan.

#19   |   Always accept and honor setbacks. Sounds like crazy-talk, I know, but consider this: we are taught to punish ourselves when we don’t meet a goal.  We’re told to play to win, and to win all.  We are an uber-competitive breed, and guess what: it isn’t working.  Stop the setback-bashing.  The next time you fall short — and you will, my friend — just check it out.  Ask why it happened, how you feel about its occurrence, and what might be done differently next time.  In other words, be mindful about your actions (or lack thereof).  Pick yourself up again and carry on, committing to learning from every setback, every time it happens.  If the same setback keeps happening, trust that it will vanish once you’ve truly learned the lesson it is there to teach you.

#20   |   Be quiet once a day. Something interesting happens when we’re quiet.  Once we stop talking — or thinking about what to say, do, be — our other senses become heightened.  We see, feel, listen more intently… and intensely.  Our bodies actually relax.  Meditation is a great way to tap into this, but any “quiet” is a good start, and there are pockets of it everywhere.  Turn down your own volume (and any music) at least once every 24 hours, whether it’s in the car, in a cab, in the elevator, at your desk, walking the dog, on the treadmill.  Search and find those few minutes, and sink into them.


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2 Responses to 20 Ways to Rock Your Year, Part II (think sunshine sessions, pill popping and more sex*)

  1. michael says:

    Great advice! I of course love 17 who doesn’t… but I really think that sleep, being quiet, and being mindful of lessons learned are really wonderful life affirming habits. Wonderful stuff here!


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