Meditation – It’s Easier Then You Think!

April 25, 2010

I don’t know about you but the word meditation by it self used to intimate me like crazy.  I had this picture of a yoga master “humming” away and I was thinking I can’t do that! I can’t sit still for more then 1 minute before my mind takes over with 1000 thoughts (I have to pick up the dry cleaning, I have to work on this project, what Am I going to wear next week-end for my conference) you know what I mean don’t you?  I had to truly understand the meaning of meditation before I finally gave it a go!  Meditation is simply being in a state of awareness. When your mind is focused on one thing, and is free of all other distractions, it can be considered meditation.   I started by just sitting down quiet for 2 to 3 minutes after my work-outs.  It was very difficult at first but like anything in life if you want to get better at it – you need to practice.  To get me started, I used Dr. Wayne Dyer meditation CD – Manifest Your Destiny.  Find out what works for you – meditation CDs, DVDs or perhaps meditation classes, just give it a shot!  YOU are worth it! 

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation gives you the skills that allow you to feel centered, calm and happy no matter what you are going through in life. Meditation is a form of relaxation that can bring about many benefits to the psyche of a person such as:

  • Decreases stress
  • Improves mood
  • Decreases depression
  • Increases memory
  • Decreases moodiness

Meditation is not only for the mind but there are several health benefits: 

Some physical benefits of meditation include:

  • Reduces blood pressure and an improvement in breathing due to the increase of air flow that gets to the lungs;
  • Lowers resting heart rate (which takes some of the stress off the heart);
  •  Lowers stress and anxiety levels; and
  • Promotes youthful skin and a youthful appearance.

 

Additionally, meditation can be a great problem solving tool. If you have a problem you cannot solve, meditation can help you clear your mind and uncover a solution that daily logic may not see.

How To Meditate

The secret to meditating is learning how to relax and clear your mind. There are few general rules to help you get to your state of awareness:

  1. Start by selecting some relaxing music or use a meditation CD. (This is also a perfect place to use you affirmation recording, if you made one.)
  2. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  3. Get comfortable in a seated position. 
  4. Close your eyes.
  5. Take several deep breaths. Listen to yourself breathe.
  6. As you begin to relax your body, concentrate on each body part. Start by relaxing your neck. You can do this by gentle moving your head in small circles from side to side and back and forth. 
  7. Take several deep breathes. Listen to yourself breathe.
  8. Relax your shoulders by rolling them a few times and then lowering them.
  9. Relax your arms and hands.
  10. Relax your chest and abdomen.
  11. Relax your legs. knees, calves, ankles and feet.
  12. To relax further, you can count backwards from 25 to 1.
  13. Once you are relaxed, think about your purpose, the reason you are meditating.

 


Tips for successful meditation

  • Do not meditate within 24 hours of having consumed alcohol or non-prescription drugs.
  • Do not meditate within 2 hours of having consumed a large meal or within 1 hour of having consumed caffeine or a light snack.
  • Do not meditate within 30 minutes of having smoked.
  • Turn off all phones and Blackberries devices or turn them to silent.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Light a candle.
  • Remove your shoes and loosen any tight clothing.
  • Do not be frustrated if other thoughts keep popping into your head while you are trying to meditate. It takes practise to focus on one issue at a time. As you meditate more frequently, the easier it will become.
  • Stick with it. The more often you do it, the more you will get out of it.

 

To find out more about Dr. Nathalie you can visit www.drnathaliebeauchamp.com


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Are you leveraging affirmations to increase your success?

April 2, 2010

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations are considered “new age” terminology for the practice of positive thinking.  The principle is to surround yourself with positive statements and ideas about what you want in life, and you will be more likely to achieve your goals.  Affirmations are positive statements that reinforce and inspire you to reach your true life destination and personal fulfillment.

Affirmations can be used to help you achieve success in all areas of your life, everything from your professional life to your health, your love life and your financial situation. If properly written and you commit to your affirmations, they will help you reach your goals and find personal fulfillment.  

How Do Affirmations Work?

To be happy and fulfilled in life, we must believe in ourselves. For all of us, our beliefs are thoughts that have been programmed into us since childhood. Some of these beliefs will help you to achieve your goals, but some of the “pre-programming” we have had holds us back from allowing us to believe what we really want for ourselves is actually possible. At a subconscious level, we are continually affirming our thoughts and desires, but to wash away the negative programming that is holding us back, and to really believe in ourselves, we must verbalize our inspirations.

By verbalizing our positive thoughts, over and over again, you re continually chipping away at your negative self-conscience and re-programming your thoughts. Let’s take a goal such as weight loss as an example. If you have always struggles with weight loss, an example of an affirmation you may use would be:

“I am healthy and happy with my appearance”.

You will notice the first times you verbalize this affirmation, you may feel uncomfortable and have negative feelings arouse from within. You may even have a feeling of resistance before you say the statement. This is your subconscious showing its true feeling. You subconscious is not agreeing with your statement and is trying to tell you it is not possible.  Keep at it. Repeat your affirmation, day after day. You will eventually start to feel joy and a sense of well-being. This is when you know your affirmation is starting to work. You are essentially “brainwashing” away any negative thoughts you have about the goal you are trying to reach.

How Quickly Will My Affirmations Start To Work For Me?

There is no specific formula or timeline that will dictate how long it will take before your affirmations stat to have an impact on your life. It will depend greatly upon how much inner resistance you have to the affirmations you have written and how willing you are to make a change in your life. The question should not really be one of how long it will take, but rather how much do you want the change to happen.

 

How to Write Affirmations

There are no set rules on how to write affirmations, but there are some tips to help you write meaningful, effective affirmations:

Tips to making Affirmations Relevant and Useful

Write in the present tense
  • If you write about what you want in the future, you may end up waiting a long time for your affirmation to come true.
  • You cannot make affirmations for other people. You are doing this for you. Your affirmations should in fact sound self centered. Their purpose is to encourage you and attract what you want out of life.
  • Your affirmation should always be in a positive tone, and it should include a positive emotion such as: I am excited, I am passionate, I am slim, I am fit, I am healthy….
  • The more likely you are to remember your affirmation, the more likely you are to say it. If it is too wordy, you will have a hard time remembering it.
  • If what you have written makes you so uncomfortable that you feel you are lying to yourself, change the wording something you believe, such as:
    • I intend to….
    • I am willing to….
    • I choose to….
Make it about you
Include positive emotion
Keep it short and sweet
You must believe it

 


Examples of Affirmations

 

Health
  • I am healthy in mind, body and spirit.
  • Every day I am getting stronger and healthier.
  • My body is healed, restored and filled with energy.
  • I am living a long, happy, healthy life.
  • I am in control of my health and wellness.
  • I allow health and happiness to flow through my body.

 

Relationships
  • I attract only healthy relationships.
  • I am special and deserve love.
  • I am surrounded by love.
  • My heart is open to love.
  • I deserve love and pleasure.
  • I am ready for a loving, fulfilling, respectful relationship.

 

Career
  • I love my job and I am good at it.
  • Doors of opportunity and abundance are open to me now.
  • I am passionate about my career and it rewards me with abundance.
  • At this moment, I am attracting the perfect career into my life.
  • I have strong skills and employers want to hire me.
  • Opportunities come easily to me.

 

Self Confidence
  • I am beautiful and admired.
  • I love myself unconditionally.
  • I am wonderful and grateful to be me.
  • I love my  life.
  • I am unique and lucky to be me.
  • I can do anything I set my mind to.

 

Exercise
  • My fitness routine is enjoyable, energetic and effective.
  • When I am exercising, I feel healthier and healthier every minute.
  • My body responds to my fitness goals.
  • I feel rejuvenated and energized after exercising.
  • I feel healthier when I work out.
  • I am good to my body and my body is good to me.

 

Weight Loss
  • I enjoy eating  healthy.
  • I feel thin.
  • I am getting stronger, thinner and healthier every day.
  • I am the perfect weight for me.
  • I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself.
  • I love and appreciate my body.

 

Getting Results From Your Affirmations

There are several methods that can be used alone, or in combination. You will have to determine what method(s) are going to work for you. At minimum though, you need to verbalize your affirmations at least once a day in combination with at least one other method listed below.  

Here is a sample of various ways you can use your affirmations to help you get results.

Method 1 – Written Method
  • Write out your affirmations 15 times every morning and every night before you go to bed.
  • Say them out load to yourself in the mirror using you statements.
  • Say your affirmation out loud anytime you feel yourself engaging in a negative though or activity that contradicts your affirmation.
Method 2 – You In The Mirror
Method 3 – The Negative Roadblock

Example: If you are trying to quit smoking, and you feel yourself reaching for a cigarette, say your affirmation out loud “I am living a healthy lifestyle”.

Method 3 – Record Yourself
  • Make a recording of your affirmations that you can play over and over again in the car, or on your iPod.
  • Many people report that falling asleep listening to their affirmations has been very successful.
  • Sing your affirmations.
  • Write out each of your affirmations on individual 3 x 5 recipe cards (one per card). Create several cards for each affirmation. Post the cards in various places where you will see them on a daily basis. 
Method 4 – The Sing Method
Method 5 – Reminder Cards

Examples: Inside a desk drawer, on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, on your dashboard etc.


Are you eating right for your Metabolic Type?

March 16, 2010

 

Are you putting the right type of fuel into your body?  

Regular or diesel?

Do you know what happens to a diesel car if you put regular octane gas into it? The result depends upon how much of the wrong fuel you put into the gas tank. If you filled the tank with the wrong fuel, the car may run for about 2 blocks or so, but in a very short time it will quit.  If you filled the tank with ¾ of regular gas and ¼ with diesel gas, the car will run rough for quite a while, but will hopefully work through the regular gas to return to its proper performance level.

Which is the right fuel for you?

The same concept holds true for our bodies. Just like different vehicle types, our bodies do not all have the same fuel requirements.  Our body converts food into energy from food we consume; the same way a car uses gas to fuel it. If you are not putting the right type of food into your body for your fuel converter (metabolism is the process of converting food into energy) the result will be similar to that of the car mentioned above. Your body might run for short bits, and then run out of energy.  

 How do I know if I am Eating Right for My Type?

 Answer these questions: 

  1. Have you ever wondered why other people have had great success with low-calorie diets and you and have not?
  2. Have your food cravings kept you from being able to stick to a diet?
  3. Do you feel satisfied after a meal?
  4. Are you prone to food addictions?
  5. Do you have cravings, especially for sugar?
  6. Do you have frequent and intense hunger?
  7. Do you experience mood swings?
  8. Do you experience some degree of brain fog during the day?
  9. Do you have inconsistent and/or low energy levels?
  10. Are you prone to feeling anxious and depressed?
  11.  Are you prone to addictions?
  12.  Are you prone to being overweight or underweight?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, then you are probably not eating properly for your Metabolic Type.  Just as each of us are unique in terms of our appearance, likes, dislikes, and emotional needs – different bodies’ needs different foods. The key is to figure out what types of food your individual metabolism thrives on. 

What is Metabolic Typing? 

Metabolic typing is a term used for a diet based on the concept that everybody has individual rates at which they metabolize food. It follows the premise that one man’s food is another mans poison. Metabolic typing helps to explain why there is not one diet that fits all. It is based on research of hundreds of clinical observations by practitioners, working with more than 60,000 people over the past 20 years.  Bill Wolcott is the world’s leading authority on Metabolic Typing™. His focus has been to provide people with a revolutionary dietary technology that enables them to optimize their health and fitness by identifying their own highly individualized nutritional needs, and tailoring their diets accordingly.

What are the Benefits of Eating for Your Metabolic Type? 

 There are several benefits to eating for your Metabolic Type. Most people start to feel better within 2 days of changing their diet. Some of the long term health benefits are: 

 • Natural weight loss without dieting or restricting calories

• Permanent weight loss without struggle, deprivation or hunger

• Achievement of your ideal weight, whether you are overweight or underweight

• Prevention of chronic disease

• Enhanced immunity

• Improved resistance to cold, flu and recurrent infections

• Reversal of chronic or degenerative health disorders

• Slowing of the aging process

Analysing your results – What Metabolic Type are you? 

 

The  Protein Type

 Typical characteristics of the protein type are: 

• Have strong appetites.

• Tend to think about food a lot, even when not hungry.

• Do not do well with fasting.

• Do not do well if they skip meals – moody.

• When they crave sugar, it only makes them feel good temporarily.

• Eating refined sugar will typically stimulate their desire

   for more sugar.

• Crave fatty, salty foods. These foods tend to satisfy them more than others.

• They will feel hungry most of the time if they eat a low fat or vegetarian type diet. 

 The Carb Type           

Typical characteristics of the carb type are: 

• They have relatively light appetites

• They don’t think of food much, unless they are hungry

• They have a high tolerance for carbs

• They can skip meal, if they have to, and it does not hurt their energy and mood

• They can enhance their feeling of well-being through fasting 

• They typically don’t like meat

• They typically don’t like adding salt to their food

• They love salad

• They fell great after drinking fresh, organic vegetable juice

or freshly squeezed orange juice

The Mixed Type

The Mixed types are the “in-between” types. They can have characteristics of both the protein type and the carb type. 

Every type has a suggested percentage of Protein, Carbs and fats.  Protein Type has a suggested percentages of: 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrates, and 30 percent fat, a Carbo Type might have percentages of: 25 percent protein, 60 percent carbohydrate, and 15 percent fat and a Mixed Type could have percentages of: 30 percent protein, 50 percent carbohydrate, and 20 percent fat.

 Similar to the Metabolic Typing® concept is also Nutritional Typing™ which was developed by Dr. Joseph Mercola. The Nutritional Typing™ approach is similar to the Metabolic Typing® approach. It concentrates on the right food choices for your basic type—Protein, Carb and Mixed. For more information on either Metabolic Typing™ or Nutritional Typing™, you can visit http://www.metabolictyping.com or http://www.mercola.com.


Vitamin D and Sun Exposure: Shedding Some Light on The Issue

February 17, 2010

The media and healthcare professionals have highlighted the harms and consequences of exposure to sunlight, however, there are many important benefits to sun exposure as well, which are often overlooked.  Furthermore, sunscreen is often seen as the healthy choice for sun protection, but this also may have harmful consequences that rival those of sun overexposure that people are not aware of.

 

Sunshine is a vital ingredient for staying healthy and is your best source for essential vitamin D. Sunlight also provides you with numerous other health benefits such as fighting depression. In recent studies, vitamin D has been shown to even protect against several types of cancer.  Vitamin D is also important for proper absorption of calcium and in maintaining strong bones.

 

We hear a lot about skin cancer due to overexposure to the sun, but did you know that tens of thousands of North Americans die of cancer and other illnesses every year due to inadequate sun exposure and dire levels of vitamin D? In the U.S., the annual cost of treating illnesses due to the lack of sun exposure hovers around $56 billion – and only $6 billion is spent on treating illnesses due to overexposure to sunlight. Of course, it’s true that the sun can cause cancer when skin is exposed to excess amounts, so it’s important to avoid getting sunburned. But don’t avoid the sun altogether as it is still the best source of vitamin D and is better than taking it in tablets!

 

Most people are aware of the effects of Ultra Violet (UV) rays through painful sunburns, but the UV spectrum has many other effects, both beneficial and detrimental to our health. Darker-skinned people, however, will produce more of the natural skin-protecting substance called ‘eumelanin’, which may offer some protection from the negative effects of UVB and UVA. For starters, it’s important to be UV-knowledgeable; the sun emits ultraviolet radiation in UVA, UVB, and UVC rays and not all rays are created equal. The stratosphere filters out UVC rays, so they are of little concern. UVB rays are responsible for vitamin D production – something your body benefits from. On the downside, UVB rays are also responsible for sunburn and damage to the surface of the skin. These rays cause moles, skin aging and some types of skin cancer. UVB rays only make up a fraction of UV light. Looking at UVA in a “positive light”, these will not cause sunburn but rather a tan and they cause less cancer than UVB rays. UVA rays make up the majority of UV light. Unfortunately, the cancer that UVA rays do cause is the most dangerous – melanoma. It also contributes more to skin aging and DNA damage than UVB rays and often times is less effectively blocked by sunscreens.

 

Skin cancer represents the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, surpassing lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. But despite what we have been led to believe, a reasonable amount of sun exposure reduces the risk of skin cancer because of the vitamin D stimulated by skin exposure to sunlight.

 

Another point to take into consideration is that skin cancers have been linked to a large disproportion in the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Our North American diets are often much higher in Omega-6 and may place us at a greater risk of developing skin cancer. Increasing your intake of Omega-3 is therefore very important to rebalance your Omega-6 to Omega- 3 ratio.

 

For more information about vitamin D, Omega-3 and Omega-6, as well as more tips for living at your best, check out Dr. Nathalie’s book Wellness On The Go at www.drnathaliebeauchamp.ca.

 

 

 

 


Breast Health: What is Digital Infrared Thermography?

February 17, 2010

Familiarizing oneself with the various means to detect and diagnosis breast cancer is incredibly important, and will hopefully enable you, or the women in your life, to make more informed decisions when deciding how to go about breast cancer prevention and protection. Though I do not wish to deter you from using Mammography as your prevention method of choice, recent studies have indicated that a single mammogram has 1000 times the radiation of a chest x-ray. Sadly, this has lead to an increase in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) of 328% since mammography was introduced in 1983. The dangers associated with ionizing radiation also include risks of cell mutations, not to mention the risk of the mechanical pressure on the breast spreading the cells that are already troublesome.

One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Though combating cancer is never an easy battle, early detection has the ability to save lives. Within the last decade breast cancer awareness has influenced an increase in the amount of women utilizing the preventative and proactive measures offered by the health care system. The most common of the preventative tools being the Mammogram. Other preventative/diagnostic methods include the self-breast exam, the ultrasound, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Each of these methods is an adjunctive diagnostic tool, providing varying information: Not one of these methods is 100% accurate. Though I do not wish to discredit any of these breast examination methods, I wish to make you aware of another very effective and comfortable method that may end up detecting “abnormalities” in your breasts even earlier then the other methods.

Digital Infrared Imaging, also referred to as a thermography, is one of the latest technologies being used in the fight against breast cancer. It has the ability to detect or diagnosis breast cancer, as well as numerous other ailments such as fibrocystic disease, vascular disease, and infection. The non-invasive scan, shows the function, the physiology, and the metabolism of breast tissue; giving a clear picture of the functional activity in breast tissue.

According to Medical Thermography International Inc, digital infrared imaging scans provide the earliest evidence of breast disease. The sensitivity rate is 90%. This means in 90% of the cases, the scan accurately indicates a presence or absence of disease. That being said, digital infrared imaging has a 10% false positive rate; in 10% of the cases the results may suggest disease where there is none. In comparison, mammograms have a 25% false positive rate, meaning that in 25% of the cases results suggest disease where there is none. Moreover, 20% of the false negative rates occur in tests conducted on young women, due to the density of the breast tissue of women under 50 years of age. Though thermography may not be perfect, no medical testing method is. One must base their judgment on how the method compares to others.

How exactly does Digital Infrared Imaging work? Well, the scan measures infrared heat from your body and translates that into anatomical images. Usually abnormal cells are hotter because malignant tissue mass is greedy. To feed their rapid growth they produce a chemical that makes new blood vessels grow. This is called angiogenesis. The scan shows the heat difference between normal breast tissue and problem areas. In scientific terms, the normal breast tissue acts as the control against which any hot area are compared. It is important to remember that not all malignancies are hypervascular; that is, a small number do not show increase blood supply. Unless there are other signs, a thermography scan will not detect a non-hypervascular malignancy.

At this point in time you are probably thinking, “Digital Infrared Imaging sounds rather effective! But what exactly does it entail?” All in all there are three stages to the process.

•The first is the preparation stage which lasts around 20 minutes. During this stage you may be asked to fill out a breast history form about symptoms related to possible breast dysfunction and disease. Then, in a private room you will undress to the waist and let your breasts adjust to the cool room temperature (18-22°C). It takes about 10 minutes for the breast temperature to adjust.

•Afterwards, it is time for the Screening stage which lasts about 10 minutes. You will be asked to stand with your hands on your head about 10 feet in front of a digital infrared imaging camera. Three images will be taken: straight-on, and right and left partial side views. After, you will be asked to put both of your hands in cool water (about 10°c) for 1 minute. This is a cold challenge to your blood vessels. Normal blood vessels narrow and gradually become cooler with this challenge while abnormal vessels do not narrow and remain warmer. After the cold challenge, a second series of three scans will be taken to record the changes in the response of the blood vessels to the cold challenge.

•The last stage of the Digital Infrared Imaging process is the report stage. Your scans will be read and analyzed by a member of the American Board of Thermology, and later sent to you in the mail.

Major Benefits of Digital Infrared Imaging… (According to the Medical Thermology International Inc)

Timely Problems can be found before abnormalities are seen with mammograms.

Inclusive Examines the whole chest, breasts, and armpit area

Good for All Ages & Stages Good for all ages: puberty, pregnant, breastfeeding, pre-menopausal years and post-menopausal years

Good for All Breast Types Good for all breast types: dense, pregnant, breastfeeding, fibrocystic, enhanced (implants) and women on oral hormone medication (BCP & HRT)

Painless No squeezing, no pressure, no touching by equipment or technician

Risk-Free No harmful rays emitted, so digital infrared imaging scan can be done as often as needed to monitor breast health and to guide treatment

Risk Indicator Digital infrared imaging results are a better indicator of future breast disease, than a family history of disease

As previously mentioned thermography is not perfect—But what medical test is? The goal of this article was to make you aware of the existence and efficiency of Digital Infrared Thermography, an alternative that is little mentioned in popular society. Unfortunately, the method is not yet covered by our health care system. Though you may not have the financial means to obtain a thermography, getting tested for breast cancer is vital for the assurance of ongoing health and wellness. Your health is, ultimately, in your hands—make sure that whatever breast health method you decide to use is right for you! References: 1. http://www.mercola.com 2. Breast Health, A new approach to breast screening unsin digital infrared imaging – http://www.medthermoline.com


Setting goals and shaping your future…with Dr. Nathalie

January 3, 2010

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Unknown

I often start my Wellness On The Go™ workshops with information about the importance of setting goals.  By a show of hands, I ask the audience to demonstrate how many of them have goals, and whether or not these goals have been documented. Throughout the course of my workshops I have come to recognize that very few individuals actually make up goals for themselves, which quite frankly shocks me. On average, two or three of these individuals will admit to having goals out of the fifty individuals in attendance, and typically only one of these people will actually have their goals written down.  I then ask the group what would happen if I got into my car after the presentation, not knowing my next destination. Where would I end up? Most people laugh and answer “nowhere!”—which is my point exactly. It seems like a silly question to ask, but if we don’t know where we want to go with our lives, where are we going to end up? We spend more time planning our vacations than we do planning our lives.  Why is that?  A goal is nothing but a dream with a deadline. Creating a road map is necessary if we are to become successful individuals.

Ask Yourself…

  • Have I established goals for the next year, 5 years, 20 years?
  • Am I truly living the life that I want to live?
  • Have I made myself accountable for what I want in life?
  • Will my failed goals lead to unwanted consequences?

 

Our goals drive us, they allow us to shape our future, and provide us with the ability to grow and excel in each of our endeavors. That being said, it is important to remember that in order to achieve our goals we must first document them.  When we do write down our goals something amazing happens; we become creators, creators of our own paths. Remember, what the mind can imagine, it can create: Anything is possible. HOW we are going to achieve our goals at the time of setting them may not be clear, but if reasons come first answers will come second. If you have a big enough WHY, the HOW will manifest itself—you will find a way to make things happen!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

 

 

Ask Yourself…

  • Do I have goals that have been left unaccomplished for an extended period of time?
  • Am I truly making strives towards accomplishing my goals, or am I hindering my own efforts either consciously or unconsciously?
  • Am I willing to look at things differently, so that things can change?
  • Am I open to new ideas or strategies that may positively assist me in the achievement of my goals? Where can I get ideas? Who could help?

 

Each year on the first of January, I take the time to reflect upon my goals from the previous year. I like to evaluate what I have accomplished, and review everything that has manifested throughout the year. It always makes me smile, how things have unfolded for the goals which had a strong  enough WHY even if I did not really know at the time how I would get them accomplished…amazing how that works! To continue, now that I have reviewed my previous year’s goals, I am ready to set new goals and design a roadmap for the next year’s journey. My successes motivate me to create new goals for the coming year and open up my mind to all the future possibilities.

My Goals, Categorized

 

 

  1. Personal development and relationships– What skills do I want to develop? What do I want to learn? What relationships do I want to create?
  2. Career– What do I want to accomplish? What kind of impact do I want to have?
  3. Fitness, nutrition and food for the soul– What level of physical fitness do I want to maintain or achieve? What can I do to improve my eating habits? What practices can I partake in that will cultivate my spirituality? 
  4. Material things and time savers– Have fun with this one – have I been dreaming about purchasing a new car or installing the latest home entertainment system? Or do I want to hire help for household duties, so that I can have more time with my family and friends? 
  5. Economic– What income level do I want to achieve? Are there investments that I would like to make within the next year?
  6. Legacy– What do I want to leave behind?  What do I want to be remembered for?

 

7 Steps Goal Setting Strategies

 

  1. Brainstorm each of the categories for 5 minutes, don’t think too hard and allow your thoughts to come naturally.
  2. Next, establish a timeline for each of your goals, whether it be a year, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years.
  3. Decide upon a few goals (three or four from each category) that you wish to focus the majority of your attention on.
  4. Now determine the WHY of each of your top three or four goals.
  5. Decide if the WHY of each of your top three or four goals is “strong” enough—does it empower you enough? If not, pick another goal from that category which does get you motivated and excited.
  6. After that, put your goals through the “SMART” system.

 

 S – Specific – Is your goal too vague? Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. Answered by what, why, and how.

M – Measurable – How will you know when you have succeeded? Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

A – AttainableA goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. 

R – Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished.   Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

T – Time-bound – Do you have a timeline? Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

  1. Finally, beside each goal – write one action step you can take this week to get you closer to your goal. (i.e.- If you want to start doing Yoga – Your action step would be to contact the Yoga school you wish to attend, and ask about their classes and schedule.)
  2. Make sure to place your goals in an area of your home, or office, which is frequently visited. The probability of accomplishing your goal(s) is increased when your ambitions are reviewed on a day to day basis.  (Stay tune for my article on vision boards and how you can create a powerful visual tool for your goals).

 

Finally, have fun with your goal setting – you can do this goal setting session with your partner/spouse or a close friend. Personally, I refer to my goal setting sessions as a shopping list, a shopping list to the universe!  Remember to THINK and PLAY BIG—the more successful and fulfilled you are, the more you will contribute to the people around you and ultimately, to the world. Furthermore, embrace the fact that what we can think about, we can create—leverage the power of your sub-concient to plant the “right” seeds in your brain and watch what can happen!

To living with passion, purpose and a plan!

Dr. Nathalie


Not sleeping well? Tips and Strategies for better sleep!

November 12, 2009

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep


Do you have trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. An estimated 3.3 million Canadians aged 15 and older, or about one in every seven people, have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep – contributing to insomnia.   Part of the problem is 80 percent of North Americans say they believe it’s not possible to sleep enough and be successful at their jobs. As a result, 75 percent experience daytime sleepiness and 34 percent say sleepiness interferes with their daytime activities – that’s certainly no way to live.

 

Sleep is important for a multitude of reasons but mainly to rebuild, repair and recharge your body. When you’re asleep, your immune system is most active and repairs what it needs to while your brain re-organizes your cerebral ‘files’. Without sleep, you get sick in both mind and body.  

Symptoms of Sleep Deficit

• Daytime fatigue

• Poor memory, mental performance

• Irritability

• Depression, apathy

• Heart Disease

• Morning headache, wake-up feeling un-refreshed 

• Heartburn

• Need to urinate in the middle of the night

• Loud snoring

• Diminished sex drive

• Decreased exercise tolerance

• More than five pounds of weight gain in the past year

• Need for stimulants

 

Why Does Your Body Need Sleep?

 

Sleep Regulates Hormones and Prevents Cancer

Lack of sleep affects hormone levels. A disrupted circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle) may create shifts in hormones like melatonin. Melatonin is made in the brain by converting tryptophan into serotonin and then into melatonin, which is released at night by the pineal gland in the brain to induce and maintain sleep. Melatonin is also an antioxidant that helps suppress harmful free radicals in the body and slows the production of estrogens, which may activate cancer.

 A link between cancer and the disrupted circadian rhythm lies with a hormone called cortisol, which normally reaches peak levels at dawn then declines throughout the day. When you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels don’t peak as they should. Cortisol is one of many hormones that help regulate immune system activity, including natural-killer cells that help the body battle cancer.

 Heart Attack and Stroke

Lack of sleep has been associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both potential risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

 Stress

When your body is sleep-deficient, it goes into a state of stress – creating an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones. The stress hormones unfortunately make it even harder for you to sleep. Since reducing stress will allow your body to get a more restful sleep, learn relaxation techniques that will help counter the effects of stress.

 Energy level

A good night’s sleep makes you energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night’s sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, and you use that energy to get out into the daylight, be active and engaged in your world, you sleep better that night.

 Memory

Researchers don’t fully understand why we sleep and dream but a process called ‘memory consolidation’ occurs while we sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing your day and making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you remember and process things better.

 Weight

Researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It’s believed that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.

 

 Ways to Maximize Your Sleep

  • Listen to white noise or relaxing music
  • Avoid before-bed snacks
  • Avoid grains and sugar.
  • Keep a schedule
  • Create a bedtime routine
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise daily
  • Make your bedroom dark
  • Get some sunshine
  • Avoid caffeine after noon

 For more tips on maximizing your sleep, and other tips and tricks for living at your best, check out Nathalie’s book Wellness On The Go at http://www.drnathaliebeauchamp.ca.