This is a guest post by Heather Calcote, a Registered Dietitian
“Successful people replaces the words I should with I will.” - from the lululemon athletica manifesto
Spring has always been my favorite season; you can’t beat the refreshing feeling that comes around this time of year. The air is over-saturated with excitement as we anxiously anticipate longer days, sunnier skies, warmer temperatures and all of the things we can finally enjoy outside again! I happily stuff away the winter coats and sweaters, feeling lighter simply by the idea of shedding a layer.
Each seasonal equinox brings a new tide, a new excuse to sit and reassess. Ask yourself the following questions --
What feels good right now? What am I feeling ready to change?
What have I accomplished recently? How can I build on those successes?
What are my goals for the month? This season? This year?
Did you know that our brains are wired to crave novelty? In almost all cases, it has a positive effect on our experience. Those of us that respond to new things – events, adventures, life changes – with an open mind and optimistic attitude are essentially building on a natural, innate tendency to seek these opportunities out. Even those who are slightly more adverse to change will feel a rush from breaking out of the norm – it can be something as small as taking a different route to work during your daily commute (whether you walk, drive, ride, etc), or something as big as moving to a new city.
Ready to feel a rush? Ready for a new season, and a new mindset?
“You can change your life because you can change the way you think.”
Welcome spring, and let it move you forward. Think about what’s important to your health, and what new things you want to do, try, and learn.
Here are 4 simple ways you can spring into a new mindset this season:
- Seek out new seasonal fruits and vegetables. Research the location of local Farmers’ Markets; they’re one of the best places to find new-to-you produce that can spice up your weekly menus. Some of which you may have never tasted, or even heard of! I recently bought a small bunch of radishes for the first time – spicy! Who knew those little purple root vegetables had such a kick?
- Say yes to an outdoor fitness adventure. Immerse yourself in Mother Nature and enjoy the post-winter weather by taking advantage of the in-between reprieve that is spring. Before you know it, the summer sun will be scorching the ground! A few weekends ago, I discovered that I’m a couple blocks away from a trailhead that leads down into Rock Creek Park. Trail running adventures? Yes, please! And recently, I spotted a deer coming out of the park on my morning run. That will jolt you awake quicker than any cup o’ coffee!
- Plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before. It’s easy to go back to places we love, but feed your novelty-craving brain by treating your senses to something entirely fresh. For example, one of my long-standing goals is to see a new country every year. You don’t have to leave the country to stumble upon something new, though. Simply be a tourist in your own backyard!
- (Re)focus on recharging your health. Think about a new area to prioritize. Whether it’s getting more shut-eye, drinking more water, or practicing yoga, let that one area have the spotlight for this season. I realized that too much of my reading is done online these days, so I started a new book -- with pages to turn and everything!
What will make your goal list this season? What type of new experiences will help you refresh and recharge your health? What activities are you looking forward to trying?
If you want that sense of accountability, share your goal in the comments below by completing this sentence: I will ____ by summer 2012.
Heather Calcote is a Registered Dietitian (RD) in Washington, DC, and author of the blog Dietitian on the Run. She works in Corporate Wellness and Nutrition Counseling, coaching, writing & educating. Heather has been quoted in Fitness magazine, featured in Washingtonian’s Well+Being blog, contributes to LIVESTRONG.com and has contributed to a variety of health and fitness sites, including lululemon’s community blog. She loves to seize an opportunity to talk about health, food or nutrition, believing that education will always be the key to change.