1. The Basics: Eat healthy food, get enough sleep, move your body, and use vices in moderation. Like a car needs working parts and fuel to run smoothly, humans need healthy food, exercise, rest and to NOT poison our mind and body.

The key to making positive change is to set attainable goals. If you recognize that change has been hard in the past, you might be pushing yourself too much. Instead, figure out and commit to one small change that you know you will and can do, like adding a salad or green vegetable to your lunch and dinner for a week and seeing how you take to it. After dinner, try taking a family walk around the block for exercise and bonding — this accomplishes two positive changes at the same time exercise and bonding with family. When you are tired, rest, even for 5 minutes.

One family member of mine said that to sleep better their new year’s resolution was to read before bed instead of looking at their cell phone. I’m going to try that as well. Think about what would make you feel proud of yourself and try making a small change in a positive direction. Experiment to find what works for you. Be nice to yourself when something doesn’t work and then try another idea.

Use guilty pleasures in moderation, like food, drugs, alcohol, video games, and smart phones. Be aware that underlying emotions may be causing discomfort that you try to soothe with under-eating and over-eating food and vices. Instead of self-medicating in ways that hurt you or make you feel bad about yourself in the long run, strive to calm your mind and body in healthy ways. Below, I share what works…

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