10 New Year’s promises that you can surely keep

A new leaf in a pot
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With the coming of a new calendar year, comes the pressure to make yourself a few promises about how you’ll spend the next 365 days. No one (as far as we know) is all that great at keeping up with their New Year’s resolutions, mostly because they are often phrased in a way that sets us up for disappointment and unattainability. We want to lose 15 pounds, exercise more, go on a diet… et cetera. They are aspirations, but not realities that most of us easily access as the New Year rolls in.

According to Laurie Gerber, Executive and Coach at the Handel Group, making yourself a promise, rather than a resolution, is an effective way to avoid the let downs and “what ifs” of New year’s resolutions of the past. While resolutions are about aspirations, promises are clear commitments phrased in a positive, rather than a negative way.

Here are 10 promises that will hopefully inspire you to make some of your own for 2017. Remember, these are just suggestions, and true promises come from the heart. Choose only those that seem most useful for you, and adjust where you see fit.

I promise to get outside more

A winter landscape

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I promise to take in the great outdoors; the sun, the clouds, the evergreens and the ice. I will walk for leisure, for pleasure, and/or for exercise. Allowing myself to be with nature, outside of the office or workplace, honours the world we live in, my human body, and my spirit.

I promise to breathe deeply, regularly

Yoga poses

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I promise to take deep breaths when I need them and even when I don’t. Letting myself breathe brings me joy, relaxation, and stillness.

I promise to eat my vitamins

Food rich in nutrients

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I promise to nourish myself the best that I can. Supplements may help (as supplements), but they are no match for the healing power of whole foods. By consuming foods that provide me with a range of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, I am doing the best I can to feed my body everything it needs.

I promise to be mindful of my food consumption

Wheat fields

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I promise to fill myself enough that I am nourished and satisfied, nothing more, nothing less, no exceptions (diets included). Eating consciously in this way ensures that I am treating my digestive track with care, and gives my system time to process what I put into it.

I promise to drink enough water

Water droplets

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I promise to drink enough water. The eight by eight rules—eight glasses of eight ounces, or two litres—is a helpful guide. I will listen to my body and watch for signs of dehydration, and attend to it as I see fit.

I promise to relax

Person laying on a hammock

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I promise to carve out time to unwind. This may involve doing nothing, or it may involve doing something, but I promise to intentionally carve out space to unplug, turn-off, and let loose.

I promise to slow down

A slow down sign painted on a road

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I promise to slow down, just a bit. Life keeps me going and going and going, but how often do I just stay still? I promise to keep things slow, sometimes.

I promise to move

Two females doing yoga

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I promise to move my body; to flex with it, have fun with it, step with it, and stretch with it. I promise to keep moving in whatever way is best for me.

I promise to connect

Woman talking on the phone

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I promise to connect with others; they need me, and I need them. By mindfully avoiding isolation, I do a service to myself and to those around me.

I promise to speak up

Hands up in the classroom

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I promise to have a say in my own health; to have a voice for my own needs. This means drawing boundaries or asking for help when I need to. I am my own advocate.

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