Natural Ways to Meet Your 2018 Goals

Natural Ways to Meet Your 2018 Goals

Resolve to be Crunchier in 2018
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Many of us have our own unique set of New Year’s resolutions that we hope will improve our lives in the year 2018. Many of these goals focus on relationships, careers and healthier lifestyles, but crunchy goals are gaining in popularity. These particular goals focus on your own personal needs and tend to shy away from your typical mainstream goals.

Think about the things you most want to improve about yourself by creating a list of the things you like and the things you don’t particularly like. Once you narrow that down, you can begin to formulate a plan. Read on for five natural ways to meet your 2018 goals.

Protect the Environment

You don’t have to do something significant in order to make a difference. Research the many simple ways you can help, then integrate them into your life. Start by making the switch from chemical-based cleaning products to green cleaning products. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s better for you, your pets and your home. Reusable bags have also become popular, and most grocery stores carry them near the check-out area to help cut back on paper and plastic products.

Don’t buy plastic water bottles. Instead purchase a reusable water bottle you can use over and over again. Get yourself a water filter and fill up that way, without partaking in the overuse of plastic water bottles. Finally, recycle if you don’t already. While it may be impossible to stop your use of all paper and plastic products, you have the option to recycle when you do use them — a collaborative way everyone can help the earth become a better place.

Take Control of Your Stress

Stress doesn’t have to follow you around. Recognize what stresses you out and formulate a plan to decrease it. If work is what stresses you out, plan to go for a run or lift weights after work. Exercise helps almost everyone clear their minds. This is also a great way to incorporate any weight-loss goals as well — kill two birds with one stone.

People tend to make bad decisions when they’re stressed, like overeating, drinking or other bad habits that release built up stress. Get your plan in motion to avoid these unhealthy coping strategies.

Try Out Asynchronous Meals

Say hello to the meal trend of 2018 — a trend that wants you to throw out the rule book and focus on what foods, diets and meals work best for you. Basically, do what’s best for your body without following fad diets or what celebrity Instagram accounts tell you to do.

Each of us is different in many ways, but especially when it comes to meal schedules, food allergies, and calorie intake. Some of us need 2500 calories per day, while others should only have 1500 to maintain a goal weight. You may have a fast metabolism, but some of your friends may have little to none. So while some people may be able to go out and eat an entire pizza and not gain a pound, many people cannot. Let’s be real though — we all wish we could eat an entire pizza and not gain a pound.

Asynchronous meals force each of us to focus on our specific nutritional needs and what it takes to keep our bodies fueled. Listen to your body and what it needs. If it wants eggs for dinner — protein, give it eggs. If it needs a leafy salad for breakfast, give it salad. Make your own rules.

Practice Minimalism

The minimalist lifestyle is really catching on — and for good reason. Minimalism revolves around the idea that we need to remove things that distract us from what we value most in life. If you’re too focused on things that are extra, you will lose focus on what matters.

The best way to start is to declutter your home which will in turn declutter your life. Donate things you do not need and free up space for you to think and spend time with others. By eliminating distractions, you can pay more attention to your goals.

Whiten Your Teeth the Safe and Healthy Way

Teeth whitener found in stores can damage teeth enamel and even your gums. The safest way to whiten your teeth would simply be to watch what you eat and drink. Remember, your enamel is porous and absorbs everything, so if you drink coffee on a regular basis or like mustard and ketchup, try to brush your teeth immediately following consumption. Better yet, try to minimize the intake of things like these to keep your teeth whiter and healthier.

Eat foods that promote whiter teeth, like apples, celery and pineapple . Water also helps to whiten teeth, so there’s yet another reason you should consume lots of water throughout the day.

While it can be difficult to stick to your New Year’s goals, going about it the natural way can ensure more success, accomplishments and satisfaction. Give this approach a try and meet your 2018 goals the crunchy way.

Cover Image Credit: Allef Vinicius

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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
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As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Getting Over Your Fears

It is so hard but feels so good all at the same time.

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I am the type of person who does not have normal fears. I don't mind spiders or snakes. But I have some fears that are so irrational and make zero sense. Yet they're still there. Over the past year or so I have successfully gotten over a few of my biggest fears and feel super proud and powerful knowing I can do things on my own.

The first one is finding a good doctor, in a new state.

It is so hard to find a doctor when you are used to YOUR doctor that you have seen your entire life. And you are far away from home and do not have the help of your parents. What do you do? Where do you go? Who do you call?

The answer is, you ask everyone. Any person you know who is in the area, ask. You will get a HUGE variety of answers and when you find the right answer, you will just know. You will be able to feel it, like damn that is the doctor I need to see. And then you call and make the appointment and feel a huge huge weight off your shoulders.

Unless you are like me…

Then you just feel more anxious because you hate new doctors, almost as much as you hate getting your haircut. Which is ironic, because one you're going to be a doctor and two whenever you get your hair done, you do something different whether it be color or cut or even both.

But the doctors are a little more serious.

So I recently had a relatively urgent doctors appointment (don't worry, I'm not dying) and I drove myself there and sat through the entire appointment and drove home all by myself. It was awful. I may have teared up once while inside.

But I DID IT.

I drove home, and I was super tired from everything and being anxious all day but also super super proud of myself for getting through everything and actually accomplishing something I wouldn't usually do.

On a much lighter and more humorous note…

Do you know how people are TERRIFIED of spiders, or snakes or rats? I am terrified like will cry and run, absolutely terrified of…

Frogs.

Yes, frogs.

And honestly, the next step is to try to at least be able to be in the same area of a frog without becoming incredibly anxious. This will hopefully allow me to be much more comfortable with so many different outdoor activities and even better at my current job.

While facing your fears is terrifying and super super hard it makes you a much more well rounded. You can do things you never thought you would be able to do and feel accomplished.

It is like when I crashed my car, I was afraid to drive again when I got home. But my mom knew that I had to drive because if I didn't drive immediately after I probably wouldn't have. It was both terrifying but also so important and imperative to my everyday life.

The point is to just do something that scares you every day, even if it is small and seems "dumb". You won't regret it.

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