Some estimates date the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions as far back as 4,000 years. Unfortunately, failing these resolutions is almost an old tradition – and it can be a terrible way to start the year.
Self-improvement is great. Self-improvement that comes at the cost of our self-esteem can be destructive. That’s why so many people start — and fail — at New Year’s resolutions.
Let’s do something different
There’s an alternative to this pattern of annual self-judgment driven by the Imperfection Economy, and it’s called Health Esteem, a new category in fitness and diet that integrates appreciating who you are now with the changes you want to make.
We propose a new tradition, where we replace New Year’s rituals with guilty goal-setting, deprivation, and ultimately failure, with one of self-appreciation for who we are and the small choices we can make to improve our lives. I spent months
It’s called Global Health Respect Month, a month to focus on how 10 small moments every day can help propel us toward the lives we want to live.
Health Esteem is a skill you can learn
Practicing health respect leads to better choices.
Instead of acting like you’re unhappy with yourself, you practice valuing yourself. Instead of making food choices to punish yourself for weight loss or eating your emotions without considering the consequences of how you’ll feel, you’ll start making choices in support of taking care of yourself.
You cannot fail Health Esteem
No matter how consistent you are, every day in January is an opportunity to succeed. And it’s as simple as checking in on 10 small moments that can have a dramatic impact on your health status.
Print or bookmark this list, and give it a try. Spend the first month of 2023 celebrating who you are and, for once, feel great about yourself from day one!
10 Small Moments in Your Daily Health Honoring Routine
1. Wake up to the first alarm
A small moment indeed – but mighty! You decide what kind of day the moment your alarm goes off.
Do you hit snooze? Then you’re going to start the day backwards, which leads to lower health esteem (how many times do you kick yourself for doing this)? But if you can get up at the first alarm, you will immediately start the day with high health esteem.
2. Do the hardest thing first
Is there something you want to do, but you think you might be justified in putting it off? Do that first.
Maybe it’s your daily workout. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s tackling a challenging work problem.
Postponing or skipping it will give you less health respect. Do that first, and your health esteem will sky-high.
3. Make time to eat breakfast
Did you know that breakfast is the most skipped meal of the day? This leads to lethargy and feeling “behind”, aka low health esteem.
Schedule a breakfast that meets your goals for the morning and you’re making time for yourself, and it gives you a higher health esteem.
4. Replace dirty energy with clean energy
Many of our morning energy options are filled with chemical sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial colors that, instead of providing a simple boost from caffeine, actually pack toxins that the body must eventually find a way to process.
This is adding to the daily stress and low health esteem we are already living with. Alternatives that are clean, toxin-tested and certified can give you the lift you’re looking for — without the toxins — in addition to high health ratings.
5. Plan lunch the day before
“Plan to fail is to plan to fail.” When you don’t plan ahead what to eat for lunch, you’re more likely to be cornered by what’s available at the moment — and that’s food you never want to feel as part of a meal plan.
You don’t want to end lunch with a low health esteem.
By planning your daily routine — and your lunch — in advance, you increase the likelihood of making choices that boost your mood and are good for you. This leads to more progress, more personal growth and higher health esteem.
6. Swap an afternoon snack for a superfood dessert
Around 3 o’clock is when you might reach for a snack to satisfy a sweet tooth or hunger thirst. You are working hard. You deserve a treat. Your morning caffeine is gone. You’ll get that “sweet tooth”.
Discipline is a good muscle exercise if the urge is only a habit. But you might need a bridge to get you through the day.
The answer is not to deprive yourself. The answer is to swap unhealthy foods (such as processed snacks or sugar-laden coffee drinks) for a superfood dessert—a healthy snack with protein, superfoods, and fiber. This small change in your daily routine will make a big difference in how you feel.
7. Give energy
There are people who give energy, and those who take energy. Ironically, those who give positive energy to others also receive positive energy back.
When you are depleted of positive energy you feel like you have the lowest health esteem. So find out how you can give positive energy — boost your health and improve someone else’s too.
8. Do a post-work reflection
Think about how much you do in a day: you work through tasks, you interact with other people, you solve problems, you put out fires, you celebrate small wins, and then you go back to work.
If you don’t take the time to acknowledge what you do in a day, it’s easy to take it for granted — or worse, never give yourself any credit. This is the definition of unhappiness and is the source of burnout.
So, before you leave the office, before you close your laptop for the day, answer three questions:
- What is one thing you accomplished today?
- What’s a new question you’re excited to answer tomorrow?
- What’s one thing you’ve appreciated about yourself today?
9. Slow down dinner
Dinner is such an overlooked time for family, asking questions and sharing; It became just another meal we ran through. If you can slow down and make it an intentional experience, you make a nice change from your day, and if you eat slowly, it will also help improve digestion.
Take a moment to look at what you and your family have done today. Take a moment to appreciate the food and savor it.
The word “appreciate” means to increase in value. Something as small as slowing down dinner to truly live in the moment will boost your health.
10. “No-screen” 30 minutes before bed
How do you feel tomorrow starts tonight.
Blue light and distractions from phones, TVs and computers before bed disrupt melatonin production and your sleep cycle. It is difficult to wake up with high health esteem when your sleep is disturbed.
Consider doing some reading or journaling. Talk and connect with your partner, your kids or loved ones.
When was the last time you went outside and looked at the night sky? Maybe give yourself time to lie in bed and reflect on the day, but so early that you’ll be gone by the time your “sleep clock” starts.
The point is: If you can take 30 minutes away from blue light before bed, you’ll sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed — with higher health ratings.
Bonus: Small moments at any time of the day
The most important thing you can do to improve your health is to give yourself grace.
You are a man who is doing your best to do your best. No instruction manual was provided. In a 100 percent unique way, you are discovering life for yourself every day.
So if you haven’t taken these other suggestions yet, you can check this box Take a moment, any moment, and just allow the feeling of realization to happen.
Tomorrow is another day, and you deserve to go into it and know that you are great.