Tagged "Positivity"

My Guide To 2017 Resolutions

Posted by Amina AlTai on

We make um and we break um, right?  Usually, resolutions are far too tough to stick to because they're usually rather lofty or because we have some fundamental shifts to make before we can allow ourselves to really achieve those goals.  Here are my tips on how to set resolutions and goals; allowing them to be a source of joy and fuel, versus a list of failures.   

1. Don't just set goals for the year:  That can be too big picture for most of us.  Create a pathway to success by also setting 3 and 6 months goals for you to achieve along the way.  When you tackle the smaller, more attainable goal, the next step much more within reach.

2. Have someone hold you accountable: Accountability is really key to everything.  Some of us can hold ourselves accountable by making promises to ourselves and offering consequences when those promises are broken.  For the rest of us, we need another person to keep us engaged and delivering week after week.  I fall into the latter camp.  When I started writing my book earlier this year, I knew I needed someone else to hold me accountable.  So I started chatting with friends and colleagues and soon realized they also needed the same thing.  So, I created a weekly accountability group where we all share our goals, what we're working on and hope to achieve in the next week.  It helps us get even more micro with goal setting—drilling down into the week by week. But, it also holds a safe space for us to honor our feelings and what we're working against.  Which is a great segue into my next point.  

3.  If you're out of integrity with your actions, look at your emotions:  Let's say one of your resolutions was to workout more and eat healthier.  But 8pm rolls around every night and you reach for the box of cookies and devour the whole thing.  What's up with that?!  Your heart might be in the right place with the goal, but there is probably more to it.  What is the emotion that's behind the self-sabotage?  Are you afraid to step into your own power?  Are you punishing yourself because you don't think you're worthy of success?  Whatever it is, get a pen and paper and start free writing.  Write it out until it's clear to you what the emotion behind the action is.  Then set some promises around that.  If you realize that you're reaching for cookies at night to sabotage your diet because you're afraid what it might feel like to love yourself and step into your own greatness, start by just realizing what you're doing.  That awareness is the biggest and best step you could take.  Instead of punishing yourself or beating yourself up, be kind to yourself and make a promise to do better next time.  And just keep at it.  The more you catch yourself and clear our the emotions behind the self-sabbotage, the easier it will become to stay in integrity with your resolutions.  

4. Write them down: When we take then out of our heads and put them on the page, they become real.  Jot your weekly goals down and share with your accountability group.  Put your annual goals down too—but don't look at them everyday if it causes anxiety and you feel too disconnected from them.  I write mine on a small note card and place them in my wallet.  I come across them once a month and it makes me smile knowing I'm working towards the bigger picture.  

5. Don't just make a list:  A list can be completely devoid of feeling.  When we feel things, truly and deeply, they become real to us.  So, instead of a love-less list, write your dreams out in paragraph form and focus on how they FEEL to you.  When I write my career dream every year I focus on how the environment feels, the amazing people I want to work with and the joy I get from doing what I love day in and day out.  That feeling is what keeps me connected to the goals day in and day out.  

How do you go about your resolutions?  We'd love to hear!

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How To Be Grateful Everyday

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Thanksgiving rolls around but once a year and it's like an annual alarm clock that reminds us to give thanks and express gratitude where we might not otherwise.  But why do it just once a year?  

Postive psychologists have long touted the benefits of performing gratitude exercise suggesting that they can increase feelings of well-being and reduced depression.  But now, a new study in NueroImage is shedding a little light on why expressing gratitude can actually make us more positive.  And it has everything to do with the practice.  The study implies that even simple exercises can impact us months down the line because they have a self-perpetuating nature.  The idea is that the more you practice gratitude, the more you are aware of it and the more you can enjoy the benefits of it.  So, to keep the gratitude going and flowing long past Turkey Day, here are a few of our favorite gratitude exercises:

1. Keep a one-sentence gratitude journal: Every night before bed jot down one thing that you're grateful for.  You'll quickly find your perception shifting as you go through each day looking for joy and what makes you happiest.  

2. Not a big journal-keeper, then set an alarm: A gratitude alarm is another great way to take stock of the last 24 hours and reflect on what you're thankful for.  Set the alarm for the same time each day (a time you're usually free) and think about all that has transpired that has made the day great.  

3. Write thank you cards:  And not just for special occasions or when you receive a gift.  Go out of your way to write at least one thank you card a month to someone you're grateful for.  It could be for kind words or just for their presence.  

4. Take gratitude trips: Is there someone in your life who you has shaped and molded you?  Who you're grateful for above all else?  Schedule a surprise visit to thank them for their contribution to your life.  

5. Balance out your complaints: Get into the habit of flipping the script on your complaints.  If there is something you usually gripe about, try and think of one positive thing or area that you're grateful for at the same time.  It will move you out of the negative and into the positive.

6. Practice a gratitude meditation:  This is a wonderful daily practice to get into.  Starting each day with a few deep breaths and a gratitude mantra is a perfect way to take positive into the rest of your day.  Jack Kornfield has a wonderful practice that will have you feeling happier and more supported in no time.  

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Healthy Host/Hostess Gifts

Posted by Amina AlTai on

As we round the corner into the most gluttonous time of year, many of us are preparing our waistlines by cleansing and taking a healthy approach to holiday cheats.  Being a little less "naughty" if you will.

If you happen to be keeping healthy company and dining at a healthier household, here are a few gift ideas for the consummate wellness warrior this Thanksgiving:

The worlds coolest water bottle: We all struggle to chug enough H20—especially when we're running around shopping and getting ready for the holidays.  Enter: the smartest water bottle ever.  It syncs with your smartphone and other fitness trackers and lights up to remind you to drink water.  Yes, please!

A wonder balm: Pre-empt the drier winter months with fabulous smelling balm that does it all.  The ultimate multi-tasker, Skin Savior removes dirt and makeup without stripping the skin, moisturizes, illuminates and even turns mineral powder into a glowing foundation treatment.  Plus, it's full of anti-oxidants making is the perfect travel companion.  

An Edible Arrangement: What's better than a centerpiece that's healthy and edible?  With arrangements starting at $39 (and they're running 20% off right now) dessert can get a whole lot healthier!

A healthy candle: Nothing helps us reset from turkey day madness like good old fashioned aromatherapy.  However, lots of fabulous smelling candles are actually quite toxic.  Why not gift one of these awesome and non-toxic way our wax candles? They're made from beeswax and they have an array of fabulously relaxing scents.  



Yogi Cookie Cutters: Yup, you read that correctly!  This is the perfect gift for your guy/gal who loves to bake and they come in packs of 3 all the way up to 18 of your favorite yoga poses.  Score!


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Work Travel Makeover: How to Stay Healthy on the Road

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Business travel is forecast to hit an all time high this year, and it’s one of the biggest ways that healthy professionals lives’ get sidetracked. Additionally, when you’re out of your routine it can be harder to hit the gym, find healthy spots to eat, and avoid the temptations that work dinners pose.  So what's a wellness buff, turned road, warrior, to do?

Here are a few of my pro-tips for staying well when traveling for work:

•Bring healthy snacks: Airports have come a long way in the last few years in terms of healthy options, but they still have a long way to go. Try and prepare as much as you can ahead of time by bringing your own food and snacks and make sure you hydrate more than usual. Fresh berries, clean crackers, raw almonds and dried (sugar/preservative-free) fruit all make for great options.  See my fave on-the-go snacks here

Moisturize your skin in-flight so you dont arrive dried out and prone to breakouts.  Nothing is worse than flying across the country to give a hard-hitting presentation only to arrive with the solar system on your forehead.  Avoid makeup on the plane, and reapply moisturizer often.  

Bring detox tea in-flight. Flying makes us retain water.  So if you want to arrive looking your best, pack a detox tea in your carry-on.  Choose a tea that has dandelion root, which acts as natural diuretic

Clean your area: Airplanes are a breeding ground for germs and you dont have time to get sick. Wipe down the arm rests, screens, remotes and tray tables

Bring a portable workout: Hotels are getting more healthy (thank you, EVEN for paving the way!), but in case you’re tight for time and there is no gym, bring a jump rope, or simply do some HIIT in your room.  See a few of my favorite workouts you can do anywhere right here

Map out healthy places to eat: I like to map out the healthy restaurants and groceries stores near my hotel on every business trip. It keeps me from making poor decisions when I'm hungry, plus it often doubles as a healthy breakfast spot for me.  Smoothies anyone?

Get a massage on arrival. If you’ve been flying for a while, massage can be a great way to reduce aches and pains, as well as anxiety.  The lymphatic drainage is also a great way to get rid of any water-retention from your flight.

Bring your vitamins!  I like to pack mine for the week in these cute little organizers.  I just grab however many I need for the week and off I go.  

Take the lead on choosing restaurants: Whether it’s a client or team dinner, take the lead and offer suggestions for restaurants that you know have healthy and wholesome options for you  Clean Plates is a great resource for finding healthy places to eat in your area.  

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Breathing Exercises for Staying Positive Under Pressure

Posted by Amina AlTai on

The work week is tough.  There's only 24 hours in the day, but our to-do lists could easily use another 10 (you know, because we have our day jobs, our side hustle and it would be nice to see friends and make dinner), and that's all before we even take a moment to care for ourselves.  All of that inevitably sends us into a paralyzing tale spin and before you know it, a freakout ensues.  That used to be my regular Sunday night ritual before I learned to get a grip on my fear and focus my energy on the positive.  Here are a few of my favorite tips for cultivating positive energy:

1. Kundalini Yoga's Breath of Fire:  This rhythmic breath in and out of the nose, sounds a little bit like sniffing and is the result of a super relaxed diaphragm.  Watch my favorite #SpiritJunkie, Gabby Bernstein, do it here

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing: When we're in freakout mode, it stimulates our sympathetic nervous system's flight or fight survival response.  This, in turn, causes our breathing to become rapid and shallow and that only furthers the feelings of fear and anxiety.  Alternate Nostril breathing is one of my favorite tools because it very quickly gets you back to a place of homeostasis and perpetuates an overwhelming calm.  

  • Take your right thumb and place it over your right nostril and take a deep inhale through your left nostril.  
  • At the height of your inhale, close off your left nostril, lift your right thumb, and exhale through your right nostril.
  • After a full and deep exhale, take a deep inhale through your right nostril, sealing it with your right thumb at the top of your inhale, and then lifting your finger to exhale deeply through your left nostril.  
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes.  

3. 4-7-8 Breathing:  I use this one weekly, if not daily, and it's one of my favorites. Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 breathing technique fully resets your nervous and takes no time at all.  So if you've had a stressful meeting and don't have time to bust our your meditation cushion, this is for you!  Making sure your tongue is connected to your the roof of your mouth, you breath in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of seven and exhale for a count of eight.  I highly recommend watching Dr. Weil's demo which makes it crystal clear.  


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