Happy New Year, friends!
I can't believe 2017 is over! So much has happened this last year that has changed my life for the better: I celebrated my first year of marriage to my human, my love, my doggy daddy; I lost my cushy corporate job and found the courage to pursue a path in health and wellness that I know deep down in my bones I'm meant to do; I ran my first half-marathon (foot injury and all); I enrolled at IIN to embark on my path of becoming a health coach; I started this blog; my husband and I got our dog, Cooper. While 2017 has been incredible for me personally, I absolutely love the New Year. I love the buzzing energy of ambition, optimism and focus. I love the clean slate, the fresh start, the opportunity to begin again. I love that people are working toward bettering themselves and taking an interest in improving their health, happiness and well-being. All of that is exactly why I decided to get into health and wellness coaching -- wanting to help people live their best lives...and I know that making uncomfortable changes to the familiarity of our everyday lives can be intimidating, daunting, overwhelming and scary.
But you're not in these changes alone. I promise that the good so outweighs the unknown, and I am so proud of you for taking this first step of wanting to change your life for the better.
Today, I wanted to share eight goals that I'm personally working on in 2018 with the hope that I inspire and motivate you to get your own goals on paper, in writing and into action. Don't know where to start or need an accountability buddy to help you stay on track? Please don't hesitate to email me! Lets crush our goals together. <3
Goal #1: Screen-free meals.
When I sit down at my dining room table for a meal, the world stops momentarily and I step into a calm and quiet serenity. And then I turn the tv on or pick up my phone and start to scroll through one of my social feeds and suddenly my food is gone and I can't remember half of what was discussed throughout dinner conversation. Awful, right? One of my goals for 2018 is to bask in that stillness and to be completely present during meals, which means no phone or TV. I want to be totally zoned-in to the people I'm with and the food that I'm consuming. I want my meals to be an immersive experience where I'm feeding and nourishing both my body and my soul.
Goal #2: Prioritize sleep.
Oh guys, this has been such a tough one for me in the last year. I am definitely a morning person and love starting my day early. My best days begin with a 6AM yoga class or some sort of sweat sesh. But I find that when I get to bed later than I probably should, I tend to skip my morning workout, which throws off the rest of my day. On top of that, I have a very bad habit of falling asleep on the couch and not actually going up to sleep in my bed until 2, 3 or sometimes 4 IN THE MORNING. How horrible is that? Talk about disrupted sleep cycles!
In the next year, I want to make sleep a priority, plain and simple. I want to unapologetically unplug at 7PM and be in bed as early as 8PM. Yes, 8! Sleep is so incredibly important to our health and well-being. When we sleep, tons of amazing things happen in our bodies: our internal organs rest and recover; our tissue starts to repair; muscle growth and protein synthesis occur; the hormones in our bodies that help regulate appetite and control stress, metabolism and other bodily functions are released; memory consolidation occurs, which allows for the formation and storage of new memories = essential for learning new information; increased energy to make beneficial lifestyle choices (cooking, exercise, self-care, etc.) happens; our immune system is strengthened; we have a heightened alertness, focus, and creativity; our mood is improved from the reduction of anxiety, irritability, and mental exhaustion. I don't know about you, but I want ALL of that in my life! So, I'm going to strive to make going to bed early without guilt or distraction part of my daily routine.
Goal #3: Master a handstand in yoga.
This has been on my list for a while now, but I haven't been consistent enough in dedicating time in my practice for this to happen. It's really disappointing, but it's the truth. In 2018, I want to set aside 10 minutes in my practice each day to focus solely on strengthening my skills toward a handstand...I'll be sure to post progress pictures on Instagram (@mbmannino), so stay tuned!
Goal #4: One green smoothie / juice per day.
Yup! 365 green juices / smoothies. This is ambitious but I can't wait. I am SO excited for this goal. I l-o-v-e starting my day with greens and I have a juicer that doesn't get nearly as much love as it should. I always feel my best / tend to make healthier choices throughout my day when I start my day with some sort of greens, so be on the lookout for lots of new green juice / smoothie recipes on here (and if you have any favorites, please feel free to share them in the comments!).
Goal #5: Strength training 3X / week.
I LOVE lifting weights. And heavy weights at that. I feel like I get such a different exercise high / sense of accomplishment when I incorporate strength training into my workout routine. Every time I lift weights, I feel strong, empowered and, quite honestly, bad ass. Throughout the second half of the year, I've been relatively inconsistent with maintaining a weight lifting routine, so my goal for 2018 is to add weights to my workout regime three times per week.
Goal #6: Try one new food / month.
I'd like to think that I'm pretty adventurous (plant-based) eater, but there is definitely room for new foods in my diet! Over the course of 2018, my goal is try one new food per month or 12 new foods this year (and who knows, maybe my arch nemesis mushroom will make its way into the list!). We're starting this month with pomelo, simply because I've never tried it before and I saw it at my local grocery store. I'll be sharing a blog post each month featuring that month's new food, so be on the lookout for that!
Goal #7: Build stillness / meditation into my daily schedule.
Meditation has been a huge part of my health / well-being in 2017 and I want to take that to the next level in 2018. This last year, I would make time to meditate once a week at the very least, but was inconsistent with the day / time of day of when that happened. It was more reactionary than anything. This year, I want to actually carve out time in my schedule (even going as far as adding it to my calendar or planner) to make that happen once a day. Whether it's first thing in the morning or just before I go to bed at night, my goal is to set aside 10 minutes (minimum) for space of silence and solitude to check in with myself / my body and find grounding.
Goal #8: Heal my skin from the inside out.
True life: I have acne. And not just "adult acne" with a zit or two on my face once in a while...no, no I have acne that rivals a teenager's. Whenever I get a breakout, it lasts for months at a time and if it does go away, you can bet I have scars. If you know me well, you know that I joke about it a lot but it's an enormous insecurity of mine. I sincerely can't remember a time in my young adult / adult life when I didn't have it. And if I may be vulnerable with you for a second: my acne makes me feel ugly, ashamed and embarrassed. Whenever I'm having a conversation with someone face-to-face, it's hard for me to stay present because all I can think is, "They're looking - no staring - at your acne. They must think your face is disgusting."
As far as past treatment is concerned, I've tried everything under the sun: topical ointments, oral medications, antibacterial face wash, accutane three times...nothing worked.
As I've progressed throughout my health coaching program, I've learned a ton about inflammation in the body and how important the health of our gut is to the rest of our wellbeing. I try to live as naturally as possible, so I'm over the harsh chemicals and dangerous drugs of trying to heal my skin; I'm going to explore natural ways to heal my skin by experimenting with changes in my diet and supplements to make my gut happy and, in return, make my skin happy, too.
What are some things you're working toward this year? Feel free to let me know in the comments! <3