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Shelter Island Reporter Health Column: Bringing your best to 2024

January is here, the Monday of the year, some might say.

With Januarys, Mondays, mornings, etc., come the chance to start fresh, motivate on new ideas, and ideate on new goals.

The trouble is, sometimes we create goals or resolutions that may be too far-reaching, so while made with good intent, they can create stress when they become intangible.

So, when it comes to approaching the new year, I like to take a moment and reflect on the past year and analyze what worked and what didn’t.

This reflection then leads to the thought: What do I want to continue? If something’s working, do I want to keep it? Why? And if it’s not working, what can I do to make it work? Or maybe it’s time to bid it farewell.

Instead of coming up with those typical resolutions like, “I’m going to exercise five times a week” or “I’ll drink a gallon of water every day,” I’ve got a different approach. I ask myself, who is my best self? What are the emotions and qualities that define that version of me? For instance, my best self is overflowing with energy and radiates a happy, positive vibe.

I also value a profound sense of peace and harmony in both my life and relationships. Plus, I want to genuinely enjoy my work. So, if my ultimate goal is to be happy, peaceful, harmonious, present, and well-rested, well, my actions should naturally follow suit.

Let’s say my focus is on having loads of energy. Naturally, I’m going to prioritize my sleep and pay attention to what I eat and drink.

And if I want to feel that deep sense of peace and harmony, then whenever I’m faced with a choice in my relationships to respond, I’ll set my intentions on how I want to feel as my best self — my healthiest, happiest self. So, what does that look like?

And what actions can I take to embody that? The choices I make will surely reflect my desire for a peaceful and harmonious existence.

And finally, feeling fantastic in my body is definitely a priority. So, I’m going to be quite selective about the foods I consume and the beverages I choose to indulge in (or not!). I’m just flipping the script this year.

No resolutions for me. Instead, I’m setting my intentions on how I want to feel as my best self — my healthiest, happiest self. I’m painting a picture of what that looks like and figuring out the actions I need to take to make it happen.

Happy New Year, folks! Let’s make it a happy, healthy and intentional one.

Suzette Smith is the owner and founder of Shelter Island Pilates and Barre (shelterislandpilates.com) on Shelter Island, offering private, group, and online classes.