The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate new habits that support our sense of well-being. I'm thrilled to introduce someone who has made creating healthy habits her life's work.Tara Rayburn is a speaker, author, wife and a Mom-on-a-Mission. Tara’s expertise is to clearly explain how we can simply weave the principles of old world wisdom into our current lifestyle. As our guest editor of the month, Tara will be sharing her expertise and experiences throughout the month on the Caldera Spas blog. With her help, hopefully we can all find a few healthier habits to commit to this year.
The Healthy Habit Coach title really explains the essence of my mission: To empower myself and others with Healthy Habits for the mind, body and soul. Over the years, I have realized that I do not want to be a doctor, nutritionist or even a sports trainer. I am a coach. I have always been a person who encourages others, but wore myself out trying to help everyone. I have found it far better to teach people to fish, rather than trying to provide everyone with fish. I help others develop habits that uplift, rather than create an environment of disease and dysfunction. These habits are not based on fad or a "perfect" diet, but principles that have proven the test of time throughout the world. I explain these principles and coach people on how to create their own healthy habits and that just one habit can change their lives.
The most powerful habit I have in my toolbox is my morning grounding/goal time. I get up early, before the family and have a ritual of morning reading, prayer, handwriting my top ten goals. I include as many of the senses as possible to anchor this centering time so that when I am in a busy mode like the holidays, I can simply see an image or smell an aroma and physically feel that sense of grounding even when life is crazy around me. I am reminded every morning who I am, what I stand for and where I am going. Everything falls into place and my priorities are established. Life still throws plenty of curve balls, but I am grounded and in a much better place to handle them.
I believe this difficulty has more to do with the associations most people have with health than establishing habits. Many people have had personal experiences which have created negative anchors. Creating positive associations with health is really the first step.
Here are five mental roadblocks people often have for changing their habits along with my responses:
1) "Not enough time or money."
Response: It is FAR more time consuming and expensive to get ill regardless of whether or not you have insurance.
The best Health Care Plan is to Care For Your Health.
2) "What really is healthy anyway? One day something is, and the next it's not. You can't win."
Response: What is dragging most people's health is usually not the recent study results on the benefits of caffeine reported on the news, but the accumulation of daily, poor habits like lack of REAL food in their diets, or not enough sleep. The best place to start healthy habits is adding something rather than quitting something. You can feel if something is uplifting to your health. Use this test "Does it make you want to go out an do life? Or does it make you want to take a nap?"
3) Some people have an aversion to the word healthy. Like, "It will taste like cardboard and not be any fun."
Response: Sometimes the word "health" itself turns people off and simply introducing a new habit as uplifting or making it fun helps break those old associations.
4) I am what I am. Genetics dictates my health. ie: "All the men in my family had heart attacks..."
Response: Yes, genetic tests give you some information about possible health challenges you might have, but you can take that information and use it to create habits that give extra support in those areas. Also, consider Nature vs. Nuture. How many of your challenges are brought on by genetics, and how many by diet and lifestyle habits you might have inherited? An inactive family life that is carried on, can carry just as much of an impact as genetics.
5) "Well, we're all going to die sometime..." (no, kidding. I hear this one all the time from people).
Response: Yes, and if you live your life thinking poor habits will simply take you out quickly and no one has to worry about you then here's a reality check for you. Most people who have what is now being called "Lifestyle Diseases" lose quality of life long before the disease kills them. They burden family and friends not out of some random disease they were stricken with, but rather an accumulation of toxicity in their bodies due to lifestyle choices.
The power nap has been a life saver for me. It can be as little as 15 min at my energy low point during the day. For me, that is between 1-3pm. I set my alarm clock for 15min and then tell myself I will be recharged when I wake up. 5 minutes to shut down and unplug, 5 minutes to be completely out, and 5 minutes to come back to my day. Of course you can take longer, but most folks can't spare the time. Setting the intention that "whatever time you can take will be plenty" is key.
I love to get up early and have my grounding/goal ritual and then make breakfast for my kids and pack their lunches while they eat. We have the funniest conversations and great connection. I used to dread it before I started the grounding ritual, but now treasure that time with them and know these morning memories will be something I cherish when they are grown. We also have a weekly movie night at home. Fridays are snuggle up on the couch and watch something old or new and just hang with each other.
My second child was a water birth, born in a birthing tub (a special hot tub designed for birthing centers and midwives). I had only planned to labor in the tub, but my relaxation was so profound that is caused labor to progress much faster. The water relieved so much of the pressure I'd experienced with my first child and help me to get into a hypnotic state. I had arrived at the birthing center at 8pm and had my son Zachary at 9:25pm. Not bad! My son's birth was so calming for the both of us. I believe that his peaceful nature and love for the water began at birth during that experience.
My husband was riding his bicycle across the country while performing concerts along the way in support of a CD he released in 2000. I was driving the support vehicle, a 25 foot RV with our 2 dogs and ferret Poptart. My job was coordinating media, updating the website and all the other millions of logistics that come with the territory, while he rode his bicycle sometimes up to 100 miles a day. Day one and two were a horrible series of snags and we were frazzled, sore and tired. We found a border town that had hot tubs with natural hot spring water pumping into them and a group of fantastic adventurers with many stories to share. It was exactly what we needed to reset our "buttons" and start day 3 with a brand new attitude.
I believe a hot tub with jets is one of the most amazing ways to stimulate the lymphatic system. In a nutshell, the lymphatic system is a huge player in your immune system. Keeping this system well circulated supports ongoing health by allowing the body to remove toxins and work more effectively on many levels. Adding music, essential oils and a beautiful candle to the hot tub experience creates many anchors for calming the mind, body and soul.
Enjoy Tara's insights all month long right here on the Caldera Spas 20-Minute Renweal blog and connect with her at The Healthy Habit Coach
Photo provided courtesty of Joey Tichenor Photography