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Nicolette Colly, our ‘NOLA Girl Gone Green,’ wants to know: Did you floss today?

Written by  Nicolette Colly
Don't answer that! But think about this! Self-care is any necessary human regulatory function that is under your individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. What have you done in the last week for yourself that was thought out, planned, and under your complete control? Did you make your bed? What have you been eating? Are you sleeping when you’re tired? Did you unplug at any point to be still?
 
With the arrival of the New Year come big resolutions, promises, and vows. We aim high with good intentions, but we don’t plan out the small steps to get to the big goal. All the while there are little things that need to be addressed that could make a huge impact. Any new goal requires discipline. Discipline comes with practice. Practice takes time.
I asked whether you flossed today because it’s a small act of self-care that many of us neglect. It only takes an extra two minutes on top of our normal routine but the health implications are immeasurable. Making your bed, drinking water, and sleeping are all small, but impactful acts that pave the way for great accomplishments.
 
It took me two years of conscious effort to make my bed every morning, but I now do it without a second thought. Time and practice (and prayer!) created a discipline within me that sets the tone for the entire day. You’d be surprised at how much better your day will go just by making the bed. It may sound trivial to some who have been doing it for years but it was a challenge for me along with many others I still have to work on. I'm still working on drinking my detox “tea”, oil pulling, and meditating every morning. Work in progress!
 
You have to set yourself up for success. Set small, achievable goals instead of general, non-specific goals. If you want to lose weight don’t focus on the numbers or inches. Set a goal to walk for 30 minutes twice a week, to drink more water, or drink one cup of coffee instead of three. And never think that your goals aren’t enough or that you’re not doing enough. They are your own and are necessary to get you to the next goal and the one after that.
 
The goals have to start with you. But you have to be good to yourself. Be forgiving, compassionate and caring. If you don’t reach a goal, reassess, and break the goal down into smaller components. Don’t beat yourself up and definitely don’t give up. You’ll be surprised at what can happen when you take the time to be kind to yourself and give yourself the tools and resources to be successful at whatever you desire. Self-care is where this starts.
 
Self-care is one of the hardest things for many of us to do. We spend a lot of our time working, caring for others and just trying to keep up. You have to take the time to slow down, ask yourself, “Self, am I taking care of you?” Take the extra five minutes to make the bed, floss, meditate, cook at home instead of eating fast food, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or make that doctor’s appointment that you’ve been putting off. When times get hard and life happens, self-care is what will get you through. Set those small goals now, strengthen your discipline, and give it time and practice. You will be unstoppable.
 
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See NOLA Girl Gone Green’s previous posts:
Change your mind, then you can change your life
Meet Nicolette Colly, “a NOLA Girl Gone Green"
Last modified on Tuesday, 13 January 2015
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