Firsts always make me think of newness. A fresh start. Sometimes again — renewal. The first day of each week, month, year is like that for me. November 1st is a great day to think about making a fresh start. Halloween is behind us — and with it lots of sugar. If you overindulged in your kid’s candy, or in the candy you bought for the kids, like I did, then this is an especially great do-over day for you. Thanksgiving and Christmas are before us and the next couple of months can be a stressful time for many people. Start this healthy habit today to help you prepare for the coming busyness of your days.
I used to have a friend who would regularly remind me, “Sherry, you can start over anytime you like.” I recommend that you choose the first day of each month as a day for re-centering, renewing, and refreshing. Here are five ways you can do that:
- Set some health goals for the month. No more than three. Be really specific. A goal might be “I will eat 5 servings of vegetables each day this month.” or “I will walk for at least 20 minutes, at least three days each week this month.” Your health includes your emotional, mental and spiritual health. Some other goals could be, “I will spend five minutes every day reading the Scriptures.” or “I will spend at least 10 minutes outside every day to breath and enjoy the quiet of nature.”
- Clean out your pantry, fridge, and/or freezer. This is a great time to rid yourself of temptation by donating dry goods or discarding items that don’t meet your health goals. Or bake them up and give them to neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
- Take time to pray and meditate. Breath deeply and close your eyes. Give yourself at least five minutes and then gradually increase the amount of time you spend each day of the month consciously praying and mediating in God’s presence. This is great in conjunction with some very slow, gentle, simple yoga to help your body join your mind in unwinding and allowing your spirit to connect with God.
- Make a date on the first of each month (or as close as possible) with a like-minded friend or loved one. Let this be the day each month when you meet for un-rushed coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take time to listen to each other and to share honestly and openly how you’re feeling about your life, your health, and achieving your goals (if you don’t have goals, see #1!). We all do better with support.
- Give yourself a gift each first. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, just something special. A bouquet of flowers, a pedicure (even DIY), a massage, or a cute new accessory are all ways you can treat yourself. It can be a small action to remind yourself that you love you.
May this first day of the month begin a tradition that brings you refreshing throughout the year. Be well!