City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Make Your New Years Resolutions Last

Creating healthy habits and routines begins with simple, everyday practices

January is a month for resolutions. The bustle of the holidays is over, and we fill our mind with aspirations and expectations.  We make hasty resolutions towards health; losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, or getting better sleep. Resolutions often fail because they come from a place that we aren’t good enough or happy enough.  We falter on our resolutions because the goals we set are often unrealistic and unattainable. I am sure you can relate to some of these common reasons we are motivated to make health resolutions and the reasons we fail.

Reasons we are motivated to resolve or improve our lifestyles for better health:

  • Weight management
  • To look and feel better
  • Health concern or doctor recommendation
  • Disease prevention/aging
  • Stress reduction
  • Challenge/competition
  • Improve overall health

Reasons we fail to follow through with resolutions:

  • Time/Money
  • Negativity/self-deprecating mindset
  • Unrealistic goals or timeline
  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of enjoyment in the process
  • Lack of support from family/friends
  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of accountability

As a yoga therapist, I’ve seen countless people struggle with making sustainable lifestyle changes to improve their health. The most common excuse I hear is “I don’t have enough time or money.”

Our health resolutions are an investment of both precious time and money.  It takes hard work and time to reap results.  Gym memberships can be pricy, trainers and coaches don’t work for free, and healthy food is expensive.  On the other hand, when we are unhealthy and add up the amount of time spent in doctor’s appointments, surgery and recovery, and all the appointments in between and after, we have invested a lot of time to get back to health! In addition, consider the cost of those doctor’s bills, medications, and surgery.  These bills are much more expensive in the long run when we fail to create healthier habits and lifestyle changes right now as prevention. Just as investing your money today in a retirement account benefits you later in life, investing in your health now ensures you will have years ahead to live your best life to the fullest capacity!

In Atomic Habits by James Clear he quotes Frederick Alexander an author and actor, "People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures."    The health habits we create right now will change our future for better or worse.  I help people create priorities so your time and money are well spent.

Now for the secret to success! Let’s empower you to course correct some of the other reasons you might fail to keep resolutions and make 2024 a great year!

Shift Your Mindset

Instead of focusing on something you are trying to attain, acquire, or accomplish, create an intention.  An intention is a vow that resonates from a place that you are already what you want to be and already have all that you need to live the life of your dreams. The intention is a promise to wake up, a vision to manifest, or a determination to grow in the life you are meant to have.  An intention is set as a positive statement, in the present tense, as if it already exists. For example: “I am healthy.” “I am energetic.” “I am at peace.” “I am at a comfortable weight.”

Check Your Self-limiting Beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs are assumptions you make based on your perceptions of life experiences.  These limiting beliefs come from our emotions and can cause us to restrict our true potential and hold us back.  If you are feeling stuck, write out what is limiting you from your intention.  Determine who or what put the self-limiting thoughts in your head.  This includes things you grew up hearing your parents or teachers say, your peers, your role models etc.  Sometimes we are most restricted by the projection’s others have placed on us during our lifetime. Our emotions and experiences play a huge part in our success and deserve our attention, recognition, and release.  It is not uncommon to need help working through emotional aspects of our health.  If you feel you need guidance through this process, please reach out for help to a professional like myself or a trusted mental health provider.

Set Small Goals in a Realistic Time Frame

Work towards your goals in incremental steps.  For example, if making diet changes, start with small eliminations or shifts in intake for a few weeks and see how that goes.  Or try exercising three days a week instead of seven for one month. Be sure your initial goal is something that is doable right now and you’ll be more likely to hang in there toward your ultimate intention.

Create a Routine

I always say, “Practice makes permanent.” Be consistent and persistent.  If you have shifted your mindset around your intentions, you won’t be as hard on yourself if you fall short of your goals.  It’s easier to be consistent if you set small goals.  That way, if you go on vacation or get busy at work, you’ll be more likely to pick up where you left off and not give up altogether.

Celebrate the Small Successes

Reward yourself with something pleasurable; a good book, a warm bath, a new outfit.  Celebrating the small wins gives us momentum to work towards the overall goals and intentions.  Small celebrations help us to appreciate the journey of the growing process!  Have a heart of gratitude that you stuck with your intention each day.

Be Positive and Surround Yourself with Positive People

We all need a tribe of encouragement to keep us on track. Surround yourself with people who are inspiring and who build you up, versus the people who discourage you or let off negative vibes. Notice how you talk about yourself to others. If you are putting yourself down in conversations, “I will never be able to do this” instead, recognize and restate into words of positive intention, “I am getting better every day.”

Practice Present Awareness

Yoga trains us to remain in the present moment and gain awareness around our biological cues.  With a regular yoga practice, we are more aware of a craving versus hunger, more aware of when we need rest versus another episode on Netflix. A deeper awareness allows us to stick to our intentions without it seeming like a chore.

Seek Support

Motivation is something we create by taking small actions every day. These small changes add up to create transformational and sustainable change. Behavioral change and adjustments in lifestyle and habits can be challenging. At times we need someone to hold us accountable and walk us through the journey to improved health. I know because I have been there. After years of suffering from anxiety and chronic pain, I recognized I needed to make permanent changes to feel better.  Since then, I have helped hundreds of people move in the direction of a more mindful, healthier life.

If you are not feeling motivated or are working with body image issues, anxiety, depression, or pain, Waterfall Yoga Therapy offers tele-health and in-person wellness programs that are tailored to meet you where you are on your journey and help you to get to where you are going. Looking for group support?  Join us for a Self Care Retreat February 16-18 in New Market, Alabama. In 2024, I challenge you to let go of expectations, fears, and broken resolutions and invest in YOU. You deserve to live well. Remember, journeys are best traveled when there is someone to share them with.

Article contributed by Sarah Cummins- Waterfall Yoga Therapy, Certified Pain Care Aware Somatic Yoga Therapist & Senior Fitness Specialist. Sarah offers private & partners wellness programs, workshops, and boutique wellness retreats specializing in alternative treatments for persistent pain, complicated injuries, inflammatory conditions, and chronic illness. You can connect with her on social media @waterfallyogatherapy or on her website at