The MONTHLY Smile
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL SELF-IMPROVEMENT MONTH
Our Challenge to You
The principles are as follows:
Striving for personal betterment is a fundamental part of the human experience. People constantly work to present the best version of themselves to the outside world. But sometimes, it’s easy to reach a certain goal or milestone in life and become a little complacent. In my case, this complacency started to affect my health. For a while, it was easy to ignore. Then a couple months ago, I started to really consider my physical health, my emotional well-being, and the life I wanted for myself during the latter half of my years. Now, I know age isn’t something people generally want to discuss, but I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m getting older. And I’m not getting older in the fun ways where I’m excited to finally drive by myself, order a drink at the bar, or rent a car. I’m getting older in the painful and sometimes frightening sort of way — the way that makes a person seek out opportunities for longevity. If you’ve reached middle age, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
1. Move Naturally: Focus on
regular, moderate exercise that combines aerobics, balance, and strength activities.
2. 20 Percent Rule: Only eat until you are about 80 percent full.
3. Eat a Plant-Based Diet:
Vegetables should make up the main portion of your meal, with meat served as a side dish.
4. Drink Red Wine … in
Moderation: Studies have shown some health benefits linked to having a beer, glass of wine, or cocktail on a regular basis. However, the key is moderation. 5. Have a Daily Purpose: When you wake up in the morning, declare a purpose for your day. Find something you are passionate about and get excited about life.
In March, I came across the The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. The author, National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner, travels the world uncovering the secrets of longevity in the Blue
“I challenge you to use the month of September — national self-improvement month — to set some goals for your own self-betterment.”
6. Downshift: Take time to slow down. Making time to rest and reflect is essential to healthy aging.
7. Belong: Being a part of a spiritual community is something that centenarians and those in the Blue Zones all share.
Zones — places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long lives. Throughout his travels, he compiled nine principles that everyone can apply in order to age gracefully and improve the overall quality of their lives. The book was the first practical self-improvement material I had come across. Since then, I have been working hard to incorporate the nine principles into my life as best I can.
8. Family: Take steps to honor your parents, spend time with your spouse and children, and be grateful for the blessing of family.
9. Right Tribe: Find those people in your life who practice healthy habits, and spend more time with them.
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