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Volume III
November 30, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

December - Gateway to the New Year!

By Alice Osborne

Besides the joys of Christmas, I love December because it is the gateway to the upcoming new year. I religiously use this time to plan and prepare for the next 12 months. I especially focus the last week of December (which conveniently comes after Christmas) on this planning.

I work on all sorts of goals - books I want to read, places I want to go, things I want to learn to do, people I want to serve (and what I want to do for them), etc. But one of the key areas I plan meticulously around is my health - mental as well as physical. In case you like the idea of devoting some of your December into this planning, here's what I specifically plan to do this next year, health-wise. (And I give credit to Frederick Patenaude, raw food author, for this inspiration.)

1) Develop a Sense of Urgency. Whenever a thought comes to your mind about something you think you want to do, or an idea you want to develop, don't let it stay there. Write it down, and decide immediately to do something about it. I've started to develop this ability more and more and it's made a huge difference in my life.

2) Cleanse One Day a Week. Mark your calendar now. Decide to go through a detox diet one full day each week, as a ritual. You may, for example, consume only green smoothies that day, or just fruit or vegetables.

3) Be Clear About What You Want. Spend some time now to get very clear about what you want to accomplish in 2013. Write it down. Write 25 or more goals, then narrow your list down to the three to five most important. Decide what the next action is for all of them. Just do it.

4) Always Think "What's the Next Action?" Don't just write things down. Decide what's the next action, and act on them, now. Read the book Getting Things Done.

5) Read the Book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. If you've already read it, read it again. Some things are just worth repeating.

6) Practice the 5 Tibetan Rites every morning. These exercises are super-easy to learn. I do them every single morning, and it's making a huge difference in my day. To learn more about it, go to

7) Spend More Time In Person With People You Love. The quality of our relationships really depends on the amount of time we spend in person with them. Just e-mailing, Facebooking, phoning is not enough. Think "quantity" time.

8) Create a Plan for Getting Fit in 2013. You won't succeed without a plan. Be absolutely clear about what your fitness routine is going to be. Start slowly, but build up. If necessary, hire a coach. Think about where you want to be in a year. Start now!

9) Give First, Then Pay Yourself. Research says the happiest and most successful people gift (or tithe) 10% of what they earn to their religious or other charitable organization every month. Even major corporations and businesses build "planned giving" into their annual budgets. They know the importance of "giving back." Then save at least 10% of what you earn this year. It's been shown that these two habits are a beeline out of debt and into prosperity. If you're inclined to say, I don't earn enough to give 10% away, or even save 10%, all I can say is, try it. It takes faith, but it works.

10) Track All Your Expenses. Track every single expense religiously. Read Your Money or Your Life.

11) Work Actively to Build Your Circle of Influence. Surround yourself with positive and healthy people. It doesn't happen automatically. Make it a priority. Distance yourself from negative influences.

12) Drink 2 liters of water every single day. Start today. You might keep a large pitcher of water on your desk or near your work station to remind you that's part of the day's activities.

13) Do Feared Things First. Every day, ask yourself "What am I avoiding today?" "What do I fear most"? Start with that. Do what's hard. Do it first. Read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.

14) In January, go for a cleanse. Go for a week eating only green smoothies. After the cleanse, work more raw foods into your daily diet.

15) Drink a raw food smoothie every single day. There are many excellent recipe books and Internet recipes available on this subject. (See for this super smoothie cookbook.)

16) Take a 30 minute walk every morning. If you live in an area with cold winters, consider walking at your local mall. If you don't live near a mall, bundle up and go anyway.

17) Keep a Journal. Keeping a personal journal helps you reflect on your life and gain perspective from it. If you're unsure how to do this, simply spend 5 minutes every night to write down 3 challenges for the day, three things you're grateful for, three successes and three things you would do differently.

18) Make a List of All the Books You've Always Wanted to Read. Narrow it down to three books. Go get them right now. Start reading one of them. Nothing enriches life more than continuing to pursue learning.

19) Spend Less Time on E-mail. Remove yourself from mailing lists that bring you nothing. Check e-mails only once or twice a day.

20) Go through everything you own. Eliminate anything that no longer serves you. Give it away to people who may need it. Simplify your physical world and life in general. You'll have more time, energy, and mental wherewithal for what matters most. (If you'd like help with this, see my book, It's Here... Somewhere)

21) Give More. Find a way to contribute your resources, time, energy and talents to a noble cause. Your local food bank, women's shelter, Humane Society, etc. - they all could use more help. Someone said, "Serving others is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this beautiful earth."

22) Be Grateful for What You Have. I keep a gratitude journal and list 5 things I'm thankful for every day. This little habit continues to make a HUGE difference in my daily outlook.

23) Be Flexible. If things don't turn out the way you wanted, just readjust your approach. One of the best ways to find contentment is to believe that the way things are is just the way they're supposed to be. Then set about learning from what you're experiencing.

24) Watch Less TV and Rent Less DVDs. Consider getting rid of your TV entirely (radical suggestion, I know.)

25) Don't Go Anywhere By Car if You Could Walk or Ride a Bicycle. Yup, another radical suggestion - but think of the health benefits from this step.

26) Make a List of All the Things You Want to Do Every Year But Never Get to Do. Narrow it down to one or two items. Take immediate action steps, book something, block your calendar, or otherwise make it happen. Too many people put too much off until it's too late!

27) Inventory Everything That's on Your Computer. Ebooks, files, audio, etc. Delete anything unnecessary, and decide to do something about the rest.

28) Don't Keep Your Knowledge to Yourself. Help at least 5 people benefit from the information you have learned about health. Don't be shy. They deserve it as much as you do.


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