By Diana Bejarano
The beginning of a new year gives us a chance to refocus our lives. We can begin to think and act differently. We can break old habits and start new ones. We have a brand new year to better ourselves and change our lives.
Every January, the majority of people start setting their annual fitness goals, financial goals and health goals. And, while all of those are worthy goals, I am going to propose incorporating five fun and easy goals that can make your life better in 2013. My list of “New Year’s resolutions” doesn’t even mention the gym, finances or diets. The items I am proposing might sound like fun and games but, in fact, each one has been proven to be very beneficial for the mind, body and soul. And I believe they can make a real difference, if we choose to do them.
Here are five easy New Year’s resolutions we can all incorporate into our lives in 2013:
Imagine more. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand. Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Let’s start imagining great things for ourselves. As adults we tend to use our imaginations less than we did when we were children. The ability to imagine is one of our greatest assets. Imagination can bring new ideas, help solve problems and release creativity. Carve out a few minutes every day to imagine and dream! It worked for Einstein.
Laugh more. Studies have shown that the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day but a 40-year-old only laughs four times a day. It’s a proven fact that laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, lowers stress hormones, releases endorphins, enhances resilience and can strengthen your heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Start laughing!
Sleep more. The experts say there are many benefits to getting more sleep, including weight loss, improved quality of life and lower stress levels. Adequate sleep can also spur creativity and curb inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and other ailments. Sweet dreams!
Play more. Studies show that playing contributes to creative problem solving, better language skills and better math skills. Scientists believe that play can also improve memory and stimulate the growth of the cerebral cortex. The exercise benefits of physical play are also extremely beneficial to the body. Tag, you’re it!
Own your power. Realize that you hold the power to your own happiness. Only you have the power to create and live your dreams. No one else owns this – only you!
Make a promise to yourself to incorporate one or more of these five things into your daily routine each week for the 52 weeks in 2013. These are realistic goals that can have a tremendous impact on every area of your life. Stick to it and you will reap the benefits. A true Latina Still Standing perseveres and achieves success despite life’s difficulties.
Diana Bejarano is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or latinastillstanding.blogspot.com