It’s week 2 into 2017. How many of you guys are still hitting the gym? Cut your sugar addictions? As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, losing weight is perennially the most popular. But for this year, I would like to offer a new resolution: one that doesn’t look at just the numbers on your scale or in your bank account. In 2017 let’s look at following in Aphrodite’s footsteps. The Goddess of Love and Beauty probably never spent an excess minute thinking of her excess curves. Instead, she focused on giving love and making the world fall at her feet.
In this new year, allow me to share with you some secrets of how sirens of the Mediterranean make the world stop at their pedicured feet.
Adopt a Healthier Palate
Naturally, as a Mediterranean Lifestyle Coach, I teach Mediterranean cooking. So it’s no wonder that the first thing on Living La Vida Goddess in 2017 would be learning to cook! My family is a huge fan of olives, olive oil, tomatoes, yogurt, feta cheese, and pretty much all things Mediterranean. So it’s pretty easy for us to adopt a healthier diet when our palate is already accustomed to these tastes. But if you prefer the taste of butter, meat, fried foods and take out, then it may be difficult for you to make that change. Below are a couple of quick fixes to help you switch your palate
- Eat at least 7 servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day. Pack tangerines in your bag; chomp on dried figs for dessert; eat a salad every single day. I promise: if you do this, you won’t have room in your stomach for a full cheeseburger and fries.
- Eat beans/legumes at least 2x per week. Packed full of fiber, protein and folate, legumes are a great, inexpensive food that is extremely versatile (black-eyed peas are awesome on top of brown rice; edamame are wonderful on a salad; cranberry beans are great as a stew with coarsely chopped root vegetables – think carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips).
- Still unsure on where to begin? Take a cooking class! Cooking classes are a great gift to yourself. It is the ultimate gift that keeps giving. Look them up at your local university, community college, local food cooperative, or local restaurants.
Gather your Personal Army
Goddesses recognize that life can be tough. So to combat the stresses of simply existing, we create an army of supporters. In this new year, consider building your support village. Join a Success Circle that will keep you on target with your professional and personal goals (think of a Writer’s Group). Reach out to new (and old) friends on social media. Then follow it up with a much-needed, but often overlooked girls’ weekend or trip. Plan a trip that has you swinging from vines, pushing your adrenaline by day, but relaxing in the evening and creating those precious moments that last a lifetime.
And call your mom weekly! She was the founder of your First Personal Army.
Get Om with your Spiritual Side
This is always the hardest one for me. I was born Orthodox Christian and raised Roman Catholic (grew up in small towns in Virginia). I love the church and its ancient traditions. I love the fact that my 5 senses are tantalized once I enter a cathedral. It’s an overall experience that leaves me at the end of my 1+ hour relaxed, happy and even chatty with my fellow churchgoers. But then I don’t go for weeks. Months. (at one point, even years). I get completely busy with life – a workout class, my children’s sports, traveling over the weekend, work, etc. Life takes over. This does not happen in the Old World. Religion is still revered. It is still considered family time to go to temple, church or mosque. And I’ve got to admit it: the families seem so contended and connected once they spend a couple of hours together on a given Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
So in my new year’s resolution, I will make religion a priority again. And I’m not talking about the in-your-face, hate-spewing, hell-damning religion (because I don’t personally believe in those, nor go to sermons that espouse those). I think most of us seek peace, love and serenity on a daily, weekly basis. Give yourself the gift of peace this year. Give yourself the time to meditate, pray and postulate before a higher being. Make a commitment to chant. Do it in the car or in the shower. Explore Buddhism and Hinduism, if the monotheistic ones which you may have grown up with no longer fits. Find the right religion for you; find one that resonates deep within you. Say yes to peace in 2017.
Become an Asset to your Company
One of the things I learned quickly in business school was how to build a balance sheet: a financial sheet that provided a snapshot of a company’s health. Once I graduated and moved to the corporate world, I began to think of myself and my peers as line items in a spreadsheet. I know, it’s totally unsexy and demoralizing to think of humans in this fashion. But it’s true: we are either a cost to the company, or a source of revenue. We are either an asset or a liability. Since then, I have not forgotten these simple truths.
In the new year, take a good long look at yourself in the business setting. Are you actually adding value in your role? Could you learn a new skillset that would benefit your company and then you? And as always, be certain to promote yourself loudly – so that your higher ups take notice of this new you.
Get your Glam On
Women in the Mediterranean know how to be flirty, fun and sexy. The men drop to their pedicured toes because we Mediterranean women ooze confidence. In the new year, take a dance class (tango? Salsa?), become regimented about skin care, eat healthfully, and choose sequins every now and then for a little sparkle in your life.
Here’s to a brilliant, healthy, goddess-worthy 2017! Do you have any other healthy resolutions for 2017? Drop me a line below!