There are moments in life when the changes you want to make seem positively possible. Jan. 1 is a natural setup â€” youâ€™re encouraged to make some resolutions and try to remember them into February. Every year on your birthday, you close your eyes, make a wish and blow out the candles. If you know how to make your wish come true, bravo.
And now, my own favorite, the March equinox: the official beginning of spring.
Spring! The word itself is full of energy, and all the encouragement youâ€™ll ever need is everywhere you look. Cue the lovebirds and the daffodils, the green shoots and the flowing creeks.
You wake up to a warm sun, and you know itâ€™s time for your own growth spurt. So take advantage of this seasonal shift to make a healthy lifestyle shift of your own.
This spring, for example, you might decide to cut out diet drinks in all their forms. Kiss it good-bye â€” no anger, no guilt â€” and find another drink you like, one that wonâ€™t poison you. Pure fruit juice and sparkling water is a favorite of mine, but your new spring tonic needs to be your personal choice â€” as long as youâ€™re not overdosing with heart-revving caffeine.
Spring is the perfect time to commit to growing some food of your own, in a shared garden space or window boxes at home. Fresh basil! Baby tomatoes! Homegrown oregano to sprinkle on chunks of feta! Getting your kids involved can make them into better eaters and save you thousands of health care dollars down the line.
The debate is over. Everything works better, including your brain and stomach, when you eat unprocessed food, grown by conscious farmers who know their cows and chickens by name.
And please donâ€™t be discouraged by the cost of real food. Sickness is expensive, too. Buy wisely and not too much, and your money will go far.
â€¢ If your Inner Gardener is still fallow, let me suggest a different change this spring: Plan to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something active that feels like fun and is not small-screen dependent. Wash the car. Attack the garage. Seek out the nearest green space, and take a walk.
â€¢ Dear reader, if your bodyâ€™s not moving, youâ€™re not using the power of spring to propel you forward in your own quest for a more positive attitude, a tighter bum, an easier time taking the stairs at work.
â€¢ Itâ€™s springtime! Spread your wings. Maybe you secretly yearn to dance the tango, but youâ€™re too timid to try. Set a goal. Write it down. Be specific: â€œOn Monday, I will call the Acme Dance Academy and find out the tango class schedule.â€
Then find a way to fit it into your schedule, if possible. If not possible, see what YouTube offers under â€œHow to Tangoâ€ and schedule yourself an at-home session with a friend whose secret desire to tango was made known to you late one Saturday night.
We conclude todayâ€™s seminar with the takeaway that is the key to your success when it comes to making change: You have to be ripe and ready for it to happen.
If youâ€™re not ready, if youâ€™re going through the motions because your wife, or your doctor, wants you to, forget it. If youâ€™re committing to eating gluten-free to imitate your best friend, itâ€™s unlikely youâ€™ll stick with it, especially when you taste the pasta.
Change happens when you are ready. Spring is what readiness feels like. Sit still long enough, and youâ€™ll feel it, too.
You canâ€™t hear this enough: When it comes to making change â€” this is true of summer, fall, winter AND spring â€” youâ€™re in charge of setting your own goals.
So ask yourself: What is the one best change youâ€™d like to see in your own life over the next year? Your answer requires thinking, and thereâ€™s still no app for that â€” I think.