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In Praise of the Micro Moment: 20 Boosts for the New Year

At the New Year you’re likely to see a lot of stories about making a resolution, and how to make it stick. You may be making some grandiose proclamations yourself—only to see your resolve slip away by Feb. 1. So instead, for this week’s Healthy Habits, we’re presenting a counter concept: the micro moment. These are small steps to health and happiness—easily done and enjoyed—instead of an “all or nothing” attitude. These incremental choices can add up to big momentum. Here are 20 micro moments to try out in 2017.  

  • Five minutes of Breath of Fire. According to Kundalini yoga theory, it increases the energy flow in your body and releases toxins from your lungs.
  • Clean out the sock or underwear or workout t-shirt drawer and treat yourself to a fresh replacement or two if necessary.
  • Call an old friend you haven’t talked to in ages.
  • Turn down a latte. Make a healthy choice, and say, “green tea, please.”
  • Paint your bedroom a tranquil color for better sleep. (Pick matte paint, rather than high gloss, the sleep experts recommend.)
  • Consciously decide to let go of a grievance.
  • Create a meal plan for one week instead of eating willy nilly.
  • Hold hands with your beloved. Relationship expert Shaunti Feldhahn includes it in The Surprising Secrets of Happy Marriages as a key pleaser for people, regardless of their “love language.”
  • Nibble pomegranate seeds. They’re high in fiber and vitamin C, and may also lower cholesterol levels.
  • Start the day “write” by putting a positive mantra on your mirror with dry erase marker.
  • Attend a rather random, free lecture at a bookstore or local college. Who knows what you’ll learn?
  • Eat a meal in peace, with no computer, no cell phone, no TV on to distract you from the sensation of enjoying your food.  
  • Add garlic and onions, rich in mood-boosting chromium picolinate, to a homemade pizza.
  • Plan one thing in advance, way in advance, so it won’t stress you out. Savor the process.
  • Swap a meat dish one night for a farmers’ market soup.
  • Practice surprise kindness: Let someone else go first in line or give up a parking space for them.
  • Reset your computer password to something uplifting, for reinforcement each time you log in.
  • Add some mint and cucumber to a pitcher of water in your fridge and pretend you’re at the spa.
  • Say “no, thank you” to something you really don’t have time for.
  • Lastly, remember this excerpt of a prayer from Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “Lord, I ask not about miracles, and not the mirages, and the strength of each day. Teach me the art of small steps.”

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