A Split-Second Decision Can Change Your Life

We tend to think of the defining decisions of our lives as the big ones. Getting married (or committing to a life partner); buying a house; having kids.

But isn’t it really the smaller decisions we make that have the most impact? Like choosing that particular paper to buy the day when you saw the advertisement for the job that changes your life.

One of the small decisions that changed my life was deciding to sign up to eHarmony. It had been suggested to me by my life coach. It seemed a small enough thing. Sign up, fill out the profile. Go on some dates. Look outside myself.

It didn’t work out that way. I spent a long time filling out the profile – because I wanted it to be a true reflection of me. Within three months of writing my profile (seven years ago on the 21st of this month!) I met the man I would marry six months later. (And yes, we are still married, blissfully!)

And it’s the time after that decision is made when the rubber really hits the road. The days, weeks, months that really lead you to the new journey.

So what decisions – small, almost negligible, that will set you on the path you desire in 2017?

Is health a priority for you? If so, it’s these small decisions every day that will help you reach your goals.

I talk a lot about this in my book ‘The Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Health and Outer Beauty – 7 simple steps to enriched energy, radiant skin and inner peace for the woman on-the-go’. (You can order a copy by popping over to the My Shop page of this website.)

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Inner Health and Outer Beauty

But here are just a couple of small things you could do to have a big impact.

  1. Give yourself a chance to sleep well. Late last year I did a radio interview about the importance of getting a good nights’ sleep – so if you’d prefer to listen than read, just go to my Speaking and Presenting page and check out the recording.Conventional wisdom says you need between seven and nine hour’s good quality sleep a night. Your brain, your skin and your body does a bunch of work while you are asleep, so even if you think you aren’t doing anything, your body, skin and brain are very active. Check out my blog post A Good Night’s Sleep Is Not  A Luxury to get some tips on how to improve your sleep.
  1. Incorporate exercise into your day – make it a habit. Don’t give yourself the option – just do whatever you have to, to make it automatic. Prefer a walk in the morning? Then put out your clothes the night before. Even that small decision can make the difference between you going for that walk and losing time deciding which outfit to wear, and then deciding you’ve run out of time and you’ve lost another day.Prefer yoga or swimming? Put the time in your diary, make sure you have your equipment and do it. Maybe buddy up with a friend.  It doesn’t matter what it is, dancing, tai chi, martial arts, biking, dancing…. Just get it into that diary and commit.I do a gym workout five mornings a week. I don’t think about it, I just get up and do it. And the beauty is that I have that headspace to use for other things because I’m not having that endless conversation with myself about do I want to / don’t I want to.
  1. Take time out for yourself. Get my book and you can read about some of the ways to say ‘NO’. This is a really important thing to do to set boundaries on your time and space. It doesn’t have to be a big time out, it could be a bath with lovely oils, or ten minutes of meditation. Even just taking seven minutes to do some deep breathing – just concentrate on the breath in, breath out – will have major benefits.
  1. Think about food a bit differently. Not only is food fuel for your body, it’s information too. You put in good information – and your cells will convert that information into nutrition. When you reframe your food intake, it might lead to some surprising results.
  1. Make a decision that your health is the biggest priority you have in 2017. Each decision you make, especially the small ones, will impact this. Look, I know you have a million demands on your time. So do I. But if you maintain that your health is your priority – if that is your guiding principle in 2017 – you will get there.Sure, go out to dinner and have fun. Get together with friends and enjoy a night out. Sleep in occasionally. Treat yourself. But even during these times you can make decisions that mean you value yourself.

This year I choose to continue my focus on my body size. It’s taking longer to slim down than I had hoped, but I know I am physically stronger than I was a year ago – so I’m moving in the right direction. I have identified two new habits I need to instil to move me along my path. One is for health, the other for my business.

The first is to ‘surf the urge’. Neuroscientists are discovering that rather than feeding our desires – say that glass of wine at night when you walk in the door, or the cigarette when you get off the train – if we just sit with the need, if we ‘surf the urge’, it goes away. If we give in to it, it gets stronger. I find this profound, because it really gets into the inner workings of our minds.

My second habit is around my business. My days will be more structured – and I have a feeling that will really help me because I won’t be spending time deciding what I’m going do for the day – it will already be in my calendar.

What will YOU choose in 2017?

 

Live life happy! 🙂

Meredith

 

Update On My Health And Fitness Journey

I shared my measurements with you last time, and I was pretty pleased with the result.

Here is my update, the first lot of figures were from 17 July 2015, the second lot of figures are from last Wednesday, 16 March 2016.

blood pressure                132/84       132/78

oxygen saturation          98                95

Resting Heart rate         84                 73

Body fat                            45.7              34.2    (this is one of the things I’m happiest about!)

Waist                                  102               96      (half of this I achieved over the past 2 months)

Waist to Hip ration        .94                .86

So how am I doing this? (and I say doing, because I don’t intend to stop).

At the gym, 5 times a week. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays I do cardio – bike and treadmill, with a bit of rowing and step machine thrown in.

On Tuesdays and Thursday I do weights – so am building strength – strong bones and denser muscles.

And I do yoga at home. And walk along the beach. And wear a Fitbit to make sure I do my 10,000 steps a day, track my activity, and keep my water intake up.

It doesn’t have to be the gym, but I like the discipline of it, it works for me.

I have an exercise physiologist I see every two months to keep me on track. I have realized that really, it’s impossible to achieve great things without a coach of some sort – whether it’s exercise or business or changing behaviors – a coach or support of some sort really helps make the difference by keeping you accountable.

DSCF3399Think about it!
Until  next time,
Cheers, Meredith

 

 

Five Fabulous Tips For Healthy, Beautiful Skin

We often take our skin for granted. We go out in all weathers (because we have to) and it burns, gets dried by the wind, gets affected by smog, pollution and radiation (from things like TVs and computers).

Some of us smoke, drink too much alcohol, party and/or work too hard. We push ourselves.

Our skin is extraordinary. It keeps our insides in, and the bacteria and nasties out. Mostly. And rarely do we think about this wonderful organ, our biggest organ, in fact – seriously.

Just think about that for a moment…. 

When we think of looking after our organs we think heart, lungs, liver, kidneys but often don’t put a lot of thought into caring for our skin. And I’m not just talking about skin care (although that does play a part.)

There are many things we can do to look after our skin, so here are 5 Fabulous Tips:

  1. Drink lots of water. I know, I know, boring huh? You read it everywhere. But why? And how much? The current thinking is eight glasses a day – which is about eight cups (a cup is 250ml). It’s not hard to do and won’t make you pee all day once your body has adjusted. And you can infuse your water too. Mix ginger and mint; or any citrus and ginger or other herbs; you can steep lemon balm and then cool it down; you can add berries, too for natural flavour (whatever you use should be tossed out within 48 hours). Hydration plumps your cells, which helps reduce wrinkles. Just as an example, Elle McPherson drinks three litres of water a day – and her skin looks terrific! .
    I drink at least two litres of water a day and I’m really seeing the benefits.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep. We are often so pushed during the day and then sleep eludes us at night, creating a vicious cycle. Here are some tips that might help you if you have trouble sleeping:
    • have a cool bedroom, 22 degree celsius is ideal
    • don’t have animals or children in bed with you, as they can interrupt your sleep
    • turn down the lights gradually two hours before retiring, so your body is gets ready
    • don’t eat dinner within three hours of retiring, and don’t snack after dinner
    • avoid stimulants such as vigorous exercise, coffee, alcohol or sugar before bed
    • keep all electronics (TV, mobile phone, tablet) out of the bedroom (a red-light clock radio is ok), and don’t look into any of these items within two hours of retiring. These items shine on the back of your retina, tricking your brain into staying awake
    • write in your journal, listen to gentle music, do a five minute meditation or reflection before turning out the light, as this will calm your mind
  3. Remove your make up before bed. Night time is when our skin replenishes and renews, so don’t make the job too hard! It only takes a minute or so each night, but will help give you a lifetime of clear skin.
  4. Use a quality skin care (click here to see what I use). This includes making sure it is free of any nasty chemicals such as parabens, sodium laurel suphates (SLS), triclosans, and formaldehyde, just to name a few. If you want a full list of the nasty stuff cosmetic companies have been known to include in their products, check out what Dr David Suzuki at the Environmental Working  Group has to say. The EWG has a load of consumer information about what’s really in our cosmetics, and our food. Choose skincare that is botanically based, free of nasty chemicals, is full of vitamins and antioxidants. Look for a range that is truly nutritious, one that will support cell strength, as this will help you keep wrinkles at bay!
  5. Eat loads of Omega 3 fats. Sources include salmon and tuna (fresh and wild, not canned and farmed), nuts such as walnuts and macadamias, flaxseeds, avocado, olives. Why? These fats strengthen the cell wall, which serves two purposes:
    1) they acts as a barrier to nasties wanting to get into your cells, and
    2) they act as a pathway for nutrients to move in and out of the cells. These foods also help reduce inflammation in our bodies – and inflammation can increase the look of aging skin.
    omega 3s
    There are many people who can’t eat what is required for a diet rich in Omega 3’s – and if you are one of those there are quality nutritional supplements you can take that can make like easier for yo
    u.  There is much public discussion about the value of supplementation – some say we don’t need it, some say we do. My personal view is that our farming practices are so tainted and our food so reduced in vitamins and minerals, through over farming and use of pesticides, herbicides and even worse, GMO, that supplementation is a necessity for good health (and, for what it’s worth, the American Medical Association agrees). Nutrisearch independent Comparative Guide
    If you do choose supplementation, do yourself a favour and don’t just buy what’s on sale in the supermarket, or even the pharmacy or drug store. Do you research, or check
    ut what I take – I’ve done LOADS of research and have found what I think are the best – and the independent Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements agrees. It pays to be particularly careful of taking fish oil – you want to be guaranteed that the mercury and other toxins, so prevalent in many fish today, have been safely removed.

So these are just a few tips on how to look after your skin. I’m currently writing my first book on keeping your skin healthy and beautiful, and will certainly let you know when you can get a copy when I’m done!

Until then, stay healthy, and care for yourself!

cheers, Meredith

Me in August 2015
Me in August 2015