Celebration of Health Posts 2011

My purpose is to live consciously and courageously in the now moment, to resonate with love and compassion, and to leave this world in peace. My overall goal is to take good care of myself and live my life to the fullest.  Developing self-compassion and achieving my health and wellness goals has meant overcoming many barriers by use of skillful means.

Health is the absence of illness, injury or disease. But wellness is much more. Wellness is practicing health-promoting behaviors to achieve  your best possible health.  The wellness journey starts with learning how to love yourself.

Chinese philosopher Laozi (c 604 bc – c 531 bc) shared this wisdom in the Tao Te Ching, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step“.

Research indicates people who score high on measures of self-compassion i.e. people who treat themselves kindly: tend to be more motivated, less depressed, less anxious, happier and more optimistic. The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health.

Whether we state them out loud or not we all have goals in life. What sets the achievers apart from the non-achievers is they have a written set of goals and that they work towards achieving them. That being said, it’s important to recognize that your sub-conscious can be given powerful suggestions to overcome any blocks to achieving your goals and thereby ensure your success. — Goal Setting

One of my goals is to share simple methods I use to improve my health, reduce stress and to control pain (aromatherapy, herbal medicine, massage, meditation).  Normally I resist making New Year resolutions, because I’m afraid I will fail to achieve them. Last year I set the goal of publishing a dozen articles in 2011 on the subjects I opened this post with.

I surpassed my goal!

  1. January 2, 2011 Aromatherapy is alternative medicine
  2. January 4, 2011 Bach Flower Remedies For You
  3. February 16, 2011  Lightening Up for SAD
  4. February 20, 2011 Coping with Arthritis
  5. March 28, 2011 Eat Healthy and Enjoy Life
  6. April 19, 2011 Forbidden Foods for Fibromyalgia
  7. July 28, 2011 Animal Companionship and Stress Reduction
  8. September 3, 2011 8 Fibromylagia Therapies
  9. September 19, 2011 Golden Apples Guided Meditation for Children
  10. October 14, 2011 Learning One Minute Meditation
  11. October 16, 2011 Hand and Wrist Exercises for Bloggers
  12. November 2, 2011 Birdsong: Five Minute Nature Meditation

Life lesson: Change happens a step at a time and it’s important to celebrate the small steps along the way to achieving goals.

Related post: Motivation: Three Elements and Seven Rules

Are you reluctant to set health and wellness goals because you are afraid you will fail to reach them?

Did you set any health and wellness goals in 2011? If so, did you achieve them?

Do you intend to set health and wellness goals for 2012?


  1. I have failed miserably on health goals. You know the reasons, so I won’t repeat them here. However, I HAVE to set goals and stick to them for 2012. If I can, I’ll start a little early.

    I had my CT scan today, but don’t yet know what the results are – Dr should have the report tomorrow, so I’ll call and make an appointment. Spent Sunday afternoon in the hospital on a drip because of this headache I’ve had for nearly three weeks which could be related to my back. So it is just a difficult time and I need to start walking regularly but the TIME availability is a major problem.

    I need to make time for ME.

    • Without doubt you have been going through a time of major stress and life changes. I’m sad to hear about the headache stemming from scoliosis winding you up in hospital. I do hope your doctor has an effective treatment that will bring your headaches to an end. I hear you when you speak of time, but we must make the time to take care of ourseleves or we can’t be at our best in our relationships. Making more time for your own personal development in 2012 sounds like a good plan.
      With much love,

  2. Congrats on exceeding your goal, TT! And what wonderful posts, too. The only real health and wellness goal I’ve ever used is the standard: lose weight/exercise. Most of my goals have been oriented toward things revolving around things like work, kids, house. I think this year I’m going to focus on my physical and mental health. Thanks for the idea!

    • Dear Janene,
      I agree that setting the goal of focusing on physical and mental health in 2012 is a worthy one. We all tend to focus on external stuff rather than achieving an internal balance. We get caught up in the events in our lives and don’t take the time to treat ourselves well. Consequently, we aren’t the best people we can be in the situations we find ourselves in. Best wishes for achieving your health and wellness goal(s) in 2012.

  3. TT, such an important topic and post :) Taking care of oneself, both emotionally as well as physically, should come foremost and sometimes proves challenging in a fast-paced stressed-out lifestyles of today. Although I do not set yearly health goals for myself, I believe in making best choices to overcome illnesses when they occur and more importantly to prevent them if possible. In the past year, I have been able to connect more deeply with my own peaceful self (in part through blogging), and that has had some great results on my overall well-being. I am ever thankful for bloggers like you, for such encouraging posts and the friendship support, too. I find it very inspiring :)

    • Dear sprigblossoms,
      You are such a sweet natured person and your aphorisms are so wise. The positive focus you maintain has inspired me this year and I’m grateful for that. Thank you so much for being such a good friend. May your 2012 be happy and healthy year.

  4. I’m hoping next year will finally be the year I get to lose some actual weight, I was doing well last year then I fractured my coccyx in France which didn’t fully heal until February, then I never had time for the gym or anything due to my working hours, only recently have I started back with it again, also need to eat better too, I have started eating more fruit though :)

    • Hi Peter,
      I have broken my tailbone too. I did it many years ago when I was a kid and it sure took a long time to heal. I hope you do start an excercise program and integrate improving your diet too. Have a happy and healthy 2012.

  5. timethief,

    Congratulations on reaching your goal! Your posts on these topics are so helpful to so many of us.

    I was intrigued by your quote about the positive benefits of self-compassion. More than anything, I think my goal in the past year has been to cultivate more self love. I didn’t realize until now how embedded some of my low self esteem messages have been. Aside from that I have set any specific health goals, although there are some health activities I do on a regular basis. Thanks for the suggestion as self care fits right in with more compassion towards oneself.

    Absolutely love the cheerfulness of this header! Wishing you a good season.

    • Hello Sandra,
      Self-compassion has been and remains a struggle for me. I had a tendency to fall in and out of loving myself and caring for myself ie. an inclination towards self-neglect. When I went deep I realized that self-care and self-compassion are closely interconnected. That’s when I committed to self care. I’ve received so much inspiration to continue cultivating more self compassion from your writing and from Zeenat’s blog too. I’m so grateful for my dear friends. Your encouragement and wisdom mean a lot to me.

  6. Well done on surpassing your goal, TiTi!

    I generally don’t set goals for the reason that you suggest – fear of failing to reach them – or rather, in my case, fear of sticking to them long enough to achieve anything much. So I try to do things in a more organic way and adopt behavours that serve me when I need them. For instance, recently I’ve been getting ‘jittery’ (my word for a precursor to a panic attack) so I’ve been doing some deep breathing exercises of the kind that I was taught as a child when I had asthma. They are gradually helping.

    Food-wise, I’m currently eating badly, but that’s pretty much how I am in the winter. I’m a bit like a… what’s the animal that changes its diet at different seasons? A hamster, I think!

    • Hi Val,
      The fear of failure has paralyzed me off and on throughout my life. I have a former habit of commiting and then just gradually just slacking off and failing to achieve. This time I quietly resolved to overcome and I did it. When I’m feeling stressed deep breathing is what I do too. I’m so glad you are practicing it because it’s so effective. I’m eating well but I don’ty eat enough. I have never had a great appetite and preparing food can be a bother when I’m in the creative and productive headspace. I can simply forget to eat or skip a meal very easily, so this coming year I’m going to make an effort to eat enough. Oh my, I think I am formulating another goal. ;)

  7. TT, excellent post!
    “Health is the absence of illness, injury or disease. But wellness is much more. Wellness is practicing health-promoting behaviors to achieve your best possible health.”
    agree totally! i am very happy for what you have achieved already. Hope everything will be improved more in the coming new year!

    From the BC forum:
    i never did set up health goal until i reached the dead end. it was about 3 years ago when my health reached the lowest point when i finally learned the lesson – i made decision that i will put health to my first priority no matter what. it was then that i found my health problem was the true root cause for all my life adversity during my middle age, and it was the only thing that i never paid attention when i was young (regardless my constantly being sick).

    good thing is, i am proudly “announce” that after being in darkness for years, i am at the point to say goodbye to my bad health – i have reached 95% of my energy level. my goal is to reach 120%, because my 100% is just about 80% of normal people. i am quite confident about my goal:-)

    people who are born with good health or those who naturally stay healthy usually would not know how big deal our physical condition is to for our life. when i was young, i even despised those who “overtake” care themselves physically. spirituality was the only thing i pursued. now of course i laugh at myself, how naive i was!

    • Dear Yun Yi,
      Thanks so much for your comments. I value them so much as I’m aware of your health challenges.

      I want you to know that I deeply admire your commitment to regaining your health. The roots of many of our ailments run very deep and are cloaked in darkness. It’s easy to neglect our bodies and when we do we are rejecting out own humanity ie. our human need for physical care, health and balance. It’s up to us to shine the light on the truth and wake uup to our deep need to care enough about ourself to act to restore balance. It’s wonderful that you have almost all your energy back. Good for you. Have a healthy 2012.

  8. TT, congratulations on achieving your blogging goals for the past year. But more importantly, congratulations on setting such wonderful and admirable goals for your life in general. Your purpose statement laid out in the first paragraph is something one wishes more people would consider as their first priority rather than the mad pursuit of money and success. I’ve been health conscious as long as I can remember, perhaps because I love life so much and want to stick around in this beautiful world as long as I can. I eat moderately but well, mostly grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly. I live a very low stress, laid-back life, with lots of leisure and time to myself. Very few things bother me, and I have very few needs. I’m happy I was born, and I’m happy I’m me, and I think that’s all that really matters in the end.

    • Hi Marty,
      Fear of failure runs deep and long time habits aren’t easily changed. I believe that I’m a “success” when I’m setting realistic goals and achieving them. My definition success includes finishing whatever I planned to do in any aspect of my life, and I plan to live as long as I can and do as much learning as I can do. I’m liking me more all the time and I mean that in a healthy way. :) I’m also happy to have you in my life.

  9. Fantastic Riptide Tempora! What did you change to lose that amount of weight so far?

    Absurd, but to comment on this thread, I peeked at one of titi’s linked older articles just to see if I had commented. I did. :) http://thistimethisspace.com/2011/03/28/eat-healthy-and-enjoy-life/

    so I won’t over tread the garden again. Instead this time, to answer this year’s questions:

    I actually don’t really set hard goals except:
    *Stay within my weight range (believe me, it does require some effort and mindful food eating/preparation, exercise)
    *Fit the same clothing I’ve had for last 10-20yrs. (It is a motivator. But it doesn’t I wear all pieces of outdated fashion clothing every year. I recycle..fashion. I choose “classic” lines. I hope. I’m probaby a walking thrift store, without even realizing it. :D)
    *Bike as much as I can. Several times per wk. (Yesterday I biked carefully around ice. Today it’s snowing prettily, but it means no cycling.) Otherwise I walk or take transit. I’ve lived a car-free life for past few decades.
    *Continue my non-rice diet. (Otherwise I tip towards diabetes 2) It’s not hard but probably spending more money buying lighter pasta.
    *Eat dinner early evening, ie. ideally before approx. 7:00 pm. Now possible but few yrs. ago, was impossible due to longer work commute. I have even eaten at 4:30-5:00pm. Then I snack later on fruit, even bowl of cereal with milk.
    *Use my body lotion and face moisturizer more generously. The prairie air is drier here.

    Overall I never have eaten much processed food at home. It hasn’t been my style of cooking anyway.

    Try to reduce salt in my food. I have eaten half a tin of salmon. That is not good.

    A challenge right now is sleeping better. I’m not sleeping as well as I could. Maybe get back to stretching exercises to relax me/lull me to sleep.

    Most interesting of all, I’m consuming more skim milk in daily diet. Probably because I’m having cornflakes for breakfast. But dropped out of having half a cup of oatmeal.

    I eat meat, usually fish or lean beef, about 2-3 times per month. Meat no more than a fistful per meal. Strangely haven’t had any (white) chicken since moving to Alberta. The stores package their meat in such huge freakin’ bulk amounts. Forget it.

    (It has been abit mind boggling to see way more meat in stores…I think Albertans celebrate their local beef/chicken/pork farmers here compared to Vancouver or Toronto)

    • Dear Jean,
      You warm my heart with your “meaty” comments. lol :D

      You are well along on the path of taking care of yourself. As I read your comment I smiled because what you stated confirmed what I suspect. Even when we don’t write our goals down we aren’t without them.

      “A challenge right now is sleeping better. I’m not sleeping as well as I could. Maybe get back to stretching exercises to relax me/lull me to sleep.”

      Fibromyalgia means getting a good night’s sleep is always a challenge for me. In 2008 I made my bedroom into a sleep oasis, changed my pre-retiring habits and blogged about it. Those tips have been extremely helpful, despite the fact no one has commented on that post. :(

      I do know what you mean about Albertans and meat. I moved away from all that BBQing and over consumption of animal flesh and fat years ago. Without doubt meat consumption on the west coast and especially in the islands is much lower than it is in Alberta.

      We eat very little meat and fish and we only eat small servings. What we do eat is either locally organically produced meat or locally caught seafood. About half of the week our meals are ovo-lacto vegetarian meals featuring many vegetables. Overall I think our diet can probably be characterized as Mediterranean.

      My big confession is that I rarely ever eat breakfast even though I know I ought to. I never have an early morning appetite. I just don’t feel hungry until closer to noon so until then I drink green tea.

      Thanks for sharing your health and wellness journey here. I appreciate it. :)

  10. Hi Time thief! Congratulations on surpassing your goal! I didn’t set any resolutions, but I’ve enjoyed eating healthier and blogging about it. I know I need to be more disciplined with eating and exercising! It’s easy to slip back into bad habits and I have to constantly monitor that!

    • Hi Ann,
      You are so right when it comes to backsliding. If we aren’t mindful it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits. I set other health and wellness goals too. They were (are) focused on remaining mindful, thinking positively, especially thinking well of myself, celebrating small victories, eating well, sleeping well, exercising and meditating daily. I achieved most of those goals. I didn’t achieve my weight goal but I’m not beating myself up about it; it’s still my goal. My compromised skeletal structure which is now fragile ie. my bones break very easily has meant I had to exercise indoors (yoga), rather than walking in nature as much as I would like to as far as I used to walk. However, my attitude towards re-committing to my health and wellness goals in 2012 is a positive one and I trust yours is too.

  11. You are doing great! I also appreciate what you say by the numbers not reflecting how much better we feel when we set goals and achieve them. I raised to be a stoic and the teaching I received emphasized not being selfish. Sadly that teaching missed the point and I had to learn how to love myself in later life. That’s the way it is in this society, and yet without that deep respect and regard for our self, we won’t succeed at becoming the best we can be, and we cannot develop deep respect and regard for others.

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