New Year, New You

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Savannah experts advise how to keep—and maintain—those arduous resolutions.



“Life will never be stress-free, but we do have the ability to intercept ourselves in the moment, check in with what is really happening and make a conscious choice about our reactions. In the morning, commit to a short amount of quiet time before checking email or launching into your to-do list. Starting the day from a grounded space helps set a mindful tone for the rest of the day. If I find myself rushing, I will often take a moment and consciously redirect my attention to my breath. I still need to be efficient, but I can choose to do it without feeling rushed. This is what the practice of mindfulness is all about—seeing our thought patterns and acting deliberately instead of unconsciously.”

—Kate Doran, owner, Savannah Power Yoga and Spry Mind & Body



“Develop S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. If you want to lose weight, your S.M.A.R.T. goal might be: Lose 10 pounds within the next six weeks by walking in the park for 30 minutes, three to five days each week. Next, use a log, journal or calendar to track your progress every week or two. Setting micro-goals alongside your S.M.A.R.T. goal is a great recipe for success. Lastly, be honest and realistic with your progress. There will be moments of triumph and moments of setback.”

—Kristi Faber, head coach, OrangeTheory Fitness, Savannah



“Consider the big picture and how work fits into the context of your life. I encourage clients, especially mature professionals looking to change careers or ‘re-invent themselves,’ to go beyond the typical considerations of natural aptitudes, acquired skill sets, personal interests and personality traits. Explore a career path that not only aligns with these traits, but presents a good fit for job success and professional happiness. What is important to a recent college graduate is different from what matters to a young professional with a family, or a seasoned worker who values time over money. Ideally, your daily work should be something you enjoy, that you’re good at, that you find engaging and that fits into the rest of your life.”

—Stephen L. Watson, Ph.D., career development specialist and lifestyle coach, Savannah Educational Consultants



“If you nurture yourself, it’s easier to bring love and good energy to others. I relate to feeling like you’re too busy to stop, but you can’t pour from an empty vase. That’s why I find Reiki so wonderful. It’s a form of alternative healing developed by a Japanese Buddhist, and unlike the physical touch of a massage, Reiki is an energetic way of balancing and shifting the energy in your body. A good session really slows me down while recharging me at the same time. After an hour, I feel like I’ve come back from a week-long vacation.”

—Courtney Victor Steigner, owner, Glow Medical Spa and Beauty Boutique



“Be intentional about your goals and get excited about what saving or earning more will bring you. This will help you make better decisions and to focus on what matters most so you’re happier and have fewer regrets. Set financial goals that are aligned with your priorities and your own definition of success. Think of it as tending to your financial garden: Commit to check in regularly on the health of everything there. What needs more watering for growth? Savings? Investments? Extra income? What needs pruning or to be weeded out? Maybe it’s unnecessary expenses or wasteful spending that doesn’t align with your goals.”

—Shannon James, success coach and business consultant, Shannon James LLC



“Set a few specific goals, like cutting out sweet tea or soda, drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, limiting food purchased from drive-throughs. I consider healthy eating to be whole real foods such as fruit, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Limit packaged foods, fried foods and dairy. When you eat this way, there is no need to count calories.”

—Dr. George Aragon, Center for Digestive & Liver Health



“I usually recommend changing up daily habits that a patient may associate with smoking. If a person likes to have a cup of coffee with a cigarette first thing in the morning, go for a walk instead and have the coffee later. Also, avoid certain social situations that may put you in a position to crave a cigarette more than usual. There are acupuncture protocols that can significantly reduce the cravings associated with quitting smoking—the main one involves five specific acupuncture points on the ear. Research indicates that acupuncture has an effect on the limbic system which consists of several structures in the brain. Simply put, we are able to reduce cravings by targeting this area.”

—Bauer Coslick, L.Ac. licensed acupuncturist, Vitality Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine



“First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. You can determine your natural requirements by paying attention to your spontaneous weekend sleep. Don’t forcibly keep yourself awake at night and don’t force yourself to wake up in the morning—how many hours did you need? But there’s also bad sleep, which is when you wake up and feel like you didn’t sleep at all, or you’re sleepy throughout the day. Some tips: Don’t watch TV in bed, and don’t look at your phone in bed. Limit your alcohol consumption. It might help you fall asleep but it can wake you up a few hours later—it’s called ‘alcohol rebound.’ During evening hours, dim the lights, avoid caffeine and vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. And this may be obvious, but no kids in your bed, no dogs in your bed and get a good mattress.”

 —Anthony M. Costrini, MD, MA, FACP, president and CEO, Costrini Sleep Service