Happy New Year!

Pilots, even if they’ve flown thousands of times, print out and review a pre-flight checklist every single time.  Why would they do such a thing?  Simple.  They consider what they do just that important.  And they’re unwilling to leave anything to chance or memory. Why should our lives and good health be any less important?

Here are some suggestions for your daily checklist to improve your health this year (feel free to add you own ideas too):

  1. Start your day with a celebration of your life.  It’s hard going through the day thinking that you can’t affect the outcome. Most of us tend towards self-judgment and being overly self-critical. Why not take the reins as soon as you wake up, and celebrate instead?
  2. What do you have to be grateful for? Start by focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t.  Each and every one of us is blessed in some way, if we’re willing to see it.  It’s a great practice to remind yourself of that daily. (There are some great journaling books out there, I just recently started this one, and I’ve used the second sheet in this workset in the past as well!)
  3. Create happiness for yourself today.  Ask yourself, what one thing will you do today to make yourself feel good?
  4. Have fun.
  5. Finish what you start.
  6. Make yourself a higher priority.  Continuing with the airline analogy…what do they always say when going through the safety features?  If there’s a loss in cabin pressure, masks will fall from above.  Put your mask on before helping anyone else.  Remember, even those who rely on you are better served by you being at your best.
  7. Shift your attitude from “what do I have to do today that I don’t enjoy?” to “how can I enjoy everything I am going to do today?”
  8. Make someone else’s day.  Even the smallest gesture like a sincere smile or a compliment can go a long way.  Research has shown that giving has concrete health benefits and can help you live longer!

Well, there you have it. Print this list, put it on your fridge, and read (and act on it) daily. Let 2021 be your healthiest year yet!

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, no doubt.  And maybe we’re not out of the woods yet.  But all of the above are 100% within your control.  Let’s do what we can to make 2021 better for all of us.

Dr. Josh