5 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail + Their Fix

We have all done it. Most of us more than once. Made a New Years Resolution…or two. “I resolve to lose weight” or “I will quite eating junk food” or “I will control my temper” or “I will exercise more”, etc. etc, etc. Ugh!  Year after year it’s the same thing. We continue to repeat old habits + patterns never fully committing and never really changing our behaviors.

Why is that? We really feel we mean it when we make these resolutions. We truly want to follow through + make it happen. Why then, is it so difficult and why do we always seem to fail or give up?

Here are 5 reasons why we fail at New Year’s Resolutions and their fix

  1. The resolution is too vague – We tend to make such statements as “I will exercise more” or “I will stop eating bad.” or “I will be nicer to people.” What exactly does “exercise more” mean or “eating bad” consist of? The meaning behind those statements would differ from person to person. Exercising more could mean taking the stairs to the 2nd floor office and running 3 miles 4 days a week to the next person. How about eating bad? What exactly makes something bad? One person’s medicine could be another person’s poison.

The fix? Make the statements relative to you and to your current life. Find what is realistic and be specific. If eating bad in your world is eating 2 donuts for breakfast then change your resolution to something along the lines of, “I will eat an apple for breakfast before eating the donuts.”

Kale is good for you. Kale all the time is not good for you.
Kale is good for you.
Kale all the time is not good for you.
  1. The resolution is stated in a negative – “I will stop procrastinating at work” or “I will no longer yell at my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend.” etc. These statements are telling you your behaviors are bad + you should stop behaving in such a way. When we talk about things in the negative it is our unconscious way of saying that we are failures, losers, or not good enough with the way we are right now.

The fix? Turn the statements around. “At work, I will turn off my cell phone notifications and use social media only during my lunch break.” and “When my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend causes me to get upset/angry I will take 3 long deep breaths before responding.”

  1. The resolution is our conscious mind speaking – Our conscious and unconscious minds are almost always out of sync with each other. What beliefs + needs do we have about ourselves that we aren’t willing to see or admit? These beliefs and behaviors were developed because at the time they served us and gave us what we needed to survive and get through whatever it was we were going through. Those behaviors become habits; those beliefs become part of who we think we are. They provide a sense of security and safety, changing them brings us into fear mode…fear of the unknown.

The fix? Bring our conscious + unconscious minds together. Both need to be on the same page before we can expect to be successful at making any long-term lifestyle changes. Start with compassionate curiosity to the real forces that motivate our behavior and, more important, that inhibit and resist our development. We can adopt personal practices such as daily affirmations, a personal mantra, mindfulness practice, breathing techniques, journaling or metta meditation. All of these techniques will help get to the underlying beliefs + where they stem from and then we can work on moving past them. Find the techniques that work for you.

  1. The resolution has no external support – We don’t seem to enlist supporters. I am talking about real supporters. People who will join you + sweat with you. People, who will motivate you, lift you up + call you out on your own BS. It’s not easy-going it alone. So many of us are afraid + embarrassed to ask for help.

The fix? Talk to your family, friends, coworkers. Tell them about your resolution + what you want to accomplish. Ask for their help + support. Ask one or two to join you. Hire a life/health/fitness coach depending on what your goals are. Make a plan with these folks to check in regularly, talk about how it’s going…the struggles, gains and setbacks.

  1. The resolution is not something you are willing to struggle for – The real question is not what you want out of life but rather, what are you willing to struggle for? Most of us want + look for the easy way out. A quick fix to our resolution. We aren’t willing or ready to put forth the effort + the work it takes. When it comes to following through with a resolution, are you willing to endure the pain + sacrifices it takes to reach the end result?

The fix? Stop! Think about the resolution before putting it out there. Ask yourself…what pain do I want to sustain? Be specific and make it work for you, not your family, not work, not your friends but for YOU! Your quality of life is determined by the quality of your negative experiences.

Choose your hard

Happy New Year’s Everyone!!

For more from + about Deanna…
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Lose the Dairy Challenge – Are You In? 

You may already know that dairy can be the cause of eczema and skin issues. Did you also know that it is also one possible culprit of a weak + unhealthy digestive system? This can cause poor absorption of much need nutrients, constipation, bloating, and more. This intolerance or sensitivity is likely in relation to the lactose or casein (protein) in the dairy products.

Is dairy adversely affecting you? The only way to know for sure is to remove it from your diet for a minimum of 2 weeks.

So, I have a challenge for you…. eliminate dairy from your diet for 2 full weeks. This includes whey protein, yogurt, milk, and cheese. Let’s begin Monday December 7th. That way we’ll have our answers before Christmas.

I know I know…that just sounds horrible! But think about it. It’s only 14 days. How bad can it be?  You might just find that your body works more efficiently and feels healthier without it.

During the 14 days keep a record of how you feel…

  • Do you have more energy?
  • Less cravings?
  • Is your skin getting clearer?
  • Do you have less mucus build-up?
  • Better digestion?
  • Fewer headaches?

On day 15 – December 21st – eat dairy a couple times. Something like a yogurt and then some cheese or your dairy of choice. Notice how you feel 30 minutes, an hour, later that evening and even the next morning. Constipated? Diarrhea? Bloated? No noticeable adverse effects?

Also, maybe take some time to find the answers to these questions:

  •  Is dairy really the best source of calcium? What about protein?
  • Why do we, as a society rely so heavily on dairy products?
  • Is it natural for any other species to drink the milk of another species?

Making it Easier

When you start to remove dairy from your diet, you’ll notice how much dairy you actually eat. It is in so many of our staple foods. For me, it was helpful to start by reading labels to see where the hidden dairy was in my everyday food choices. Then I looked for replacements for the dairy. Here is what I found and enjoyed.

~ Daiya cheese is a vegan and soy-free cheese that is good for home cooking, sandwiches, etc. It comes in shredded, block and sliced options. It melts too!

daiya
~ Use avocado for sandwiches, egg salad, or anywhere that creaminess is desired. Check out the health benefits too, by clicking here.
~ Use almond or coconut milk versions of your favorite milk, creamer, yogurt and ice cream.
yogurt
~ And a tasty dairy-free ranch dressing by Hilary’s Eat Well – Ranch Chia.
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So, are you ready to give dairy-free a try? Let me know.
Have questions? Please ask! rockwateryoga@gmail.com Type ‘Dairy Challenge’ in the subject line.
Follow me on Instagram, post photos of your dairy-free meals and tag #rockwateryoga.
I’ll find the two photos that inspire me the most and reward those people with a free Wellness Strategy Session! ($85 value)
For more about my wellness coaching, click here.

5 Ways to Practice Ahimsa (non-violence)

In the wake of all that has been happening in our world, I feel I am revisiting the yoga philosophy and practices at just the perfect time. I began reading a book on the Yamas & Niyamas. The Yamas & Niyamas are the foundation to all yogic thought. It is not a religion in and of itself but rather a way of life. You can think of them as guidelines, precepts, ethical disciplines or restraints and observances. There are 10 jewels in all – the first 5 being the Yamas (restraints) and the last 5 the Niyamas (observances).

Yamas = Nonviolence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Non-excess, Non-possessiveness
Niyamas = Purity, Contentment, Self-discipline, Self-study, Surrender

Ahimsa

The first jewel, Ahimsa or non-violence has resonated with me since I first learned of its full meaning and the real intention behind the practice.  Ahimsa is non-violence in your words, thoughts and actions not only in regards to those we love but towards all people, animals, the Earth and most importantly oneself.

Ahimsa takes courage, balance, self-love and compassion. “We learn compassion as we dissolve our personal version of the world, and grow gentle eyes that are not afraid to see reality as it is.” This takes courage. Courage to step outside of societal norms. Courage to accept not only ourselves but others just as they are. Courage to learn the difference between belonging and fitting in. Courage to discern between real fear that keeps you alive and fear that keeps you from living.

Here are 5 ways to begin practicing Ahimsa.

    1. Begin by doing one thing daily you normally wouldn’t do. If you’re feeling brave, make that one thing that scares you.
    2. Create balance by finding guidance from messages of your body. Practice yoga or find movement through a connection to your breath and listen.
    3. Notice what you might be avoiding in your own life because you are so interested in others lives. Are you a worrier? A fixer? Discern the difference between ‘help’ and ‘support’.
    4. Pretend you are complete. There is no need to expect anything from yourself or to criticize or judge or change anything about you.
    5. Start practicing Tonglen or Metta (loving-kindness) Meditation.

yoga 366

I try everyday to live with ahimsa. For me, I keep the word and its full intention in the forefront of my mind. No, it is not always easy however it becomes easier over time. I am catching myself more quickly when I begin to judge or make not-so-nice comments/thoughts. I have also stopped beating myself every time I slip up, recognizing that I too am living a human life and am not perfect.

It begins with loving yourself. Accepting you for you….just as you are. Then and only then can you truly love another. Then and only then will you truly respect, care for and cherish the Earth and everything on it. Then and only then will you begin to realize that your health is directly related to the health of the environment and want to protect it.

“Our inability to love and accept all the pieces of ourselves creates ripples – tiny acts a violence – that have huge and lasting impacts on others.”

You can learn more about all 10 jewels by reading The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele. (some of the words/phrases in this post come from the aforementioned book).

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Morning Routine

The stereotype is that all yoga instructors get up with the sun, meditate for an hour in lotus position followed by a full hour of Vinyasa flow. After all of that they take the time to cook an extremely healthy breakfast which is eaten mindfully with tea.

Ha! Not me!!  I will admit, even though I am a yoga instructor + wellness coach I am far from a morning person. I have tried multiple times throughout the years and it just does not work for. And I am ok with that.

Here’s what I found works for me…

    • Lying in bed, with my legs in butterfly pose and focusing on my breath for several minutes.
    • Then I snuggle with Izzee, my sweet pup.

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      • Before I stand up I sit up + stretch gently. Usually a seated forward fold and a butterfly stretch.
      • Next, I let Izzee outside. I walk outside with her, close my eyes, breathe in the fresh air and go through a few 1/2 Sun Salutations. If it’s too cold or rainy, I stand in the doorway taking those deep breaths.

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  • Followed with tongue scraping, teeth brushing, and drinking a cup of hot water with high quality organic lime essential oil + Ayurveda herbs.

After all of that, which does not take very long, I begin getting ready for my day. That consists of black coffee + breakfast.

IMG_7499
Scrambled eggs, quinoa, greens + avocado

and usually entails packing a change or two of clothes, food/snacks and a water bottle. Oh, and don’t forget the laptop + journal.

If I have an appointment/class free morning, I will enjoy my coffee while writing a new post, networking or journaling.

IMG_6490

I have come to realize that not every morning will look like this. Be kind. Allow yourself to stray if needed, for whatever reason. Then, begin again. No need to stress about it.

Have you found what works for you? Tell me here in the comments or post a photo to Instagram + tag @rockwateryoga.

I look forward to hearing how you spend your morning!

www.rockwateryoga.com

 

Move Your Body

Walk, run, skip, play outside with your children/grandchildren/dog, take the stairs…move your body every day.

By keeping the physical body moving + the breath flowing, the prana or chi (energy) will move and flow in ways that promote healing. Be amazed at how movement boosts your mood, shifts thought patterns, improves internal organ functions, and changes your outer appearance. 10603481_10152560495434536_5111260077959162507_nFirst, find what movement works for you…dancing, walking with a friend, taking the stairs to your office every time, playing on the playground, or taking a group fitness class. There is no need to subject yourself to an exercise routine that doesn’t fit your needs and lifestyle or feels intimidating. That is not sustainable. Once the added daily movement becomes habit + part of your routine you can then being to explore other forms of movement. Until then….stick with what you know + what you are comfortable with.

yadkin sup

Learn what types of movement are most beneficial for building transferable strength, increasing fluid movement and improving balance; then incorporate that movement into your weekly schedule. These types of activities require a will to strengthen and control the body, and ultimately the mind. When the body and mind are in sync + the breath is being brought deeper into the body more regularly, optimal health can be achieved.

Such movements include but are not limited to yoga, paddling, tai chi, rock climbing, metabolic training, martial arts, and functional strength training.  The key is to find what works for you and stick with it.

Follow me on instagram, Share your movement with me – hash/tag rockwateryoga.

Repeat Often

Walk outside
  Touch your bare feet to the Earth
  Close your eyes
  Inhale slowly
  Pause
  Hear the sounds swirling around
  Exhale completely
  Pause

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Feel the cool air caress your skin
  Inhale deeply
  Pause
  Smell the odors of morning dew
  Exhale controllably
  Pause
  Open your eyes
  See the beauty sprinkled about
  Repeat

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Sweet Golden ‘Medicine’

I was reading a magazine this morning  that included an article on fevers. The article title was “Why you shouldn’t bring down a fever”.  It was a really good reminder that I thought I would pass on to all of you.  Our bodies are amazing containers that house all that it needs to move, grow,  function and especially heal itself.  The better we care for our bodies the better the body can provide for and protect us from toxins, viruses, bacteria and more.

One example of our body’s way of protecting us is through a fever.  We have always been told to bring down a fever as quickly as we can. In order to due that we often reach for drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.  There is two things amiss with that belief.

One, is that those drugs have been proven to actually increase the rate of flu by about 5% causing additional deaths from the flu virus. Plus, these medicines can have negative side effects all though if taken properly and only occasionally those side effects are less likely.

The second reason that bringing down a fever could adversely effects us, is that a fever is the body’s natural defense mechanism against the flu and colds. It protects us, tells us there is something foreign in our bodies and to slow down…take better care of ourselves. A fever also reduces the risk to others. When interfering with our body’s natural defense and healing, we run the risk of having adverse and unwanted outcomes.

So, the next time you have a fever, thank your body for doing what it was meant to do. Monitor your fever, drink lots of fluids, use herbal or essential oil remedies and allow your body to protect you and heal itself. Here is a recipe for a strong antibiotic/antiviral made from nature’s medicine….Sweet Golden ‘Medicine’

Ingredients:
3.5 oz. (100 grams) of raw organic honey (local if possible).
1 tbsp. of turmeric powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
5-7 drops Oregano Oil or 2-4 drops of Thyme Oil

Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar.

How to Use:
Upon the first symptoms of colds and flu:

Day 1 – Take ½ tsp. every hour during the day.
Day 2 – Take ½ tsp. every two hours during the day.
Day 3 – Take ½ tsp. three times a day.

The Sweet Golden ‘Medicine’ mixture should stay in the mouth until its complete dissolved. Typically, the cold passes and the body recovers after three days. And it tastes yummy too!!!

You can add it to warm (not hot) dairy-free milk or tea.

www.wddty-us.com – The magazine I was reading.
November 2014

A Healthier Cup of Joe

I love coffee…black, dark and strong. For me it’s the taste and the morning ritual that goes along with it. Coffee is not a ‘pick me up’ for me. I prefer Americano’s – fresh brewer Luwak Coffee in Bali

Luwak Coffee in Bali

espresso…not eXpresso…shots topped with a little hot water. I have gone back and forth and back again over the whole “should I drink coffee?” “is coffee good or bad for you?” Yes, there are health benefits to coffee however, there are some not so healthy things about coffee too. It really depends on who you ask. But, I am not here to debate whether or not coffee you should or shouldn’t drink coffee. That is a decision you need to make for yourself…listen to your body, know your dosha (Ayurvedic Medicine) and learn what coffee is the most nutritious. If you do choose to drink coffee, moderation is key. Below are a few tidbits that will assist you in your decision making.

Fast Metabolizer vs Slow Metabolizer
There are two types of caffeine metabolizers…those who metabolize caffeine slowly and those who metabolize it quickly. If you are the type who becomes jittery after a couple cups of Joe then you fall into the first category, which means the caffeine gets build up in your system causing the jitters. That over time could cause unwanted effects in the body. If you can drink coffee all day with no jitters or drink a cup and go to bed with no trouble then you are in the latter group. I happen to fall into this group.

Organic vs Non-Organic
Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the diet for the majority of people. Coffee is also the most pesticide contaminated product next to chocolate. We all know that pesticides are toxic in our bodies making our liver work overtime. As the toxins build in your body it becomes less able to absorb nutrients and vitamins you take in. Organic coffee is the way to go if you want to reap the benefits of the antioxidants and nutrients in the bean and to cut down on the intake of pesticides. Remember though…not all farms can afford to pay for the Organic authentication stamp. Talk to your local coffee roaster and ask them about the farms they purchase their coffee from. That leads us to the next debate.

Local Roasters vs. Grocery Store
Again, this goes back to the fact that coffee is imported in the form of green coffee beans. Those green coffee beans are then roasted but where? and how far from where you are purchasing it. Buying from a local roaster ensures that your coffee is fresher and more recently roasted. The fresher any product the more nutritious. That in turn leads to a healthier cup of Joe. And an added bonus is supporting your local small businesses.

Whole Beans vs Ground
Coffee is imported which means it travels long distances before getting to the roasters and then to the store shelves and finally to you. Coffee is like anything else…the longer it sits the less nutrient dense it becomes. The whole bean will hold the nutrients longer than ground beans. Buying whole beans and grinding just what you need for that mornings coffee is the way to go for higher antioxidant and nutrient content.

Acidic vs Alkaline
Coffee is very acidic which in and of itself is not a huge concern unless the rest of your diet is high in acidic causing foods. Examples of acidic foods are…meat, dairy, soda, sugar, processed foods, baked goods, etc. FYI – our bodies need to be slightly alkaline. Taking in too many acidic causing food like items can wreck havoc in our bodies and cause all sorts of trouble but that is a discussion for another day. To neutralize your morning cup of Joe try adding some spices. Here is a recipe I like to make…however a dash or two of cinnamon, ginger or cardamon is helpful.

2 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Maca Powder (optional)
1 Tbsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cardamon
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Bentonite Clay (optional)

Use 1 tsp / cup of coffee or to taste.

Another fact about caffeine in coffee – Espresso has less caffeine than drip coffee and darker roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts. However, no one can make an exact calculation of caffeine due to all the variables involved, such as beans used, water temperature, the grind, and beverage size. Then of course there is always the question of what one puts in their coffee. I think we can save that discussion for a later date, though.

The bottom line…if you want your morning cup of Joe to be healthy and full of goodness then buy organic whole beans from a local roaster and grind as needed. Maybe throw in a spice or two.

Drink Good Coffee!