Life

Tangible Steps To Make 2023 Your Best Year Yet

Image: Kseniya Ovchinnikova for Getty

“2021 was a year of tremendous stress and change and the global pandemic had us all living in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze for almost two years,” notes Desi Barlett, a yoga, health and wellness expert. “As we move into 2023, we have the opportunity to step out of the fight-flight-freeze cycle and begin to imagine our future in ways that are healthier and happier, both personally and in our communities.”

Keep reading for a look at Barlett’s tips to help begin 2023 with health and happiness.

Assess

“Instead of January 1 being all about setting impossible goals, let’s use this year and look at assessing where we are. Get your blood work done; get on a scale; take a selfie in your underwear. Use the first day of the year to take the time to assess and be really honest about how you feel. This is not just about how you look. If you’re feeling great in your body mind and spirit, then keep doing the same. If you feel like there’s areas that could be improved, inspired, and motivated, then use the information from day one to create a plan. Let the date of 123 be an inspiration to act in three steps: assess, make a plan and execute the plan.”

Mind

“Meditate at least 5-10 minutes everyday. In the same way that we brush our teeth everyday for oral hygiene, meditation is like hygiene for your mind. Rather than constantly replaying the old thought patterns, we begin to allow space for something new. At the end of your meditation, take a moment to identify how you would like to show up in this world, how you can be of service. Studies have shown that volunteering can actually reduce stress, increase positive feelings, and the brain releases dopamine. Meditation and being of service is a winning combination for the mind.”

Emotions

“Choose your tribe, for real. This is not just a cute saying from a hipster mug, this is something that we can all do. Speaker Jim Rohn says, ‘You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.’ It is ok to walk away from relationships that you have outgrown. Also, no one has the right to violate your boundaries or make you feel bad about yourself. If someone does that, even a family member, speak up for yourself and show up for yourself. Your actions and the energy that you put out will attract healthier folks into your circle.”

Image: Uwe Krejci for Getty

Body

“Get serious about lifestyle changes with exercise and food. Increased abdominal fat can be dangerous over time and it is something that is both preventable and reversible. Learn about macronutrients and micronutirents, what they are and what the correct ratios are for your body. Get your bloodwork done and look at your micronutirent levels so that you know where you are deficient and where you are excelling. Road test macronutrient ratios (protein/fat/carb) with an easy app on your phone. Combine your eating plan with a solid exercise routine that you actually enjoy. Also remember to build in rest and active recovery days into your routine.”

Shining breath

“The yogis work with something called pranayama, which means life force and we explore and nourish our life force through different forms of breathing. You can find lots of information online about different forms of breathing. One of my favorites is called skull shining breath. We pump the belly vigorously with a repeated short and sharp exhalation. It’s literally like drinking a double shot of espresso. Your brain and your body will turn on within 30 seconds or so.

A little bit of interesting history here, when Yoga came to the west it was during the time of the hippies and Woodstock. The hippies were very interested in altered experiences and getting high. Drugs are not a sustainable high and can do a tremendous amount of damage.  Hippies found yoga and pranayama and realized that you can literally feel high and blissed out from the power of your breath.”