Try saying that to yourself the ﬁrst thing you wake up every morning. Slowly but surely, it will channel your thoughts towards doing what makes you truly happy. This issue, we want you to commit to taking care of yourself. Only then will you feel good, think more clearly, sleep better, look better and live better.
We asked the pros for smart strategies to help you stay on track with your goals, devised a workout that will force you to really focus on yourself, and offered small but meaningful ways to live and love yourself more deeply.
Flip the page for some serious self-care business.
Pushing boundaries, exploring new areas, and moving forward keep us happy. And while there’s a place for end goals, research shows that the thrill of starting something novel and loving the process provides the most fulfillment and is the key to staying motivated long term. Embarking on a new fitness, health, or beauty routine? We asked top experts to share the art of finding joy in every step.
"Koral Arua Matte sweatshirt (koral.com). Wilfred Free for Aritzia The Teddy jacket (aritzia.com). Haze Collection VYT sunglasses (hazecollection.com). "
CLEANSE YOUR MIND
“I like to start any journey with a blank canvas. For example, when I wanted to overhaul my diet, I emptied my kitchen of all foods that weren’t going to make my body feel good. But I also emptied my mind of negative opinions, from others and from myself. Making a shift often starts with the assumption that something is wrong with you. That mindset led me down decades of yo-yo dieting and thousands of dollars lost on unused gym memberships. When I started my recent health journey, I created a supportive space by surrounding myself with inspirational stimuli, from podcasts and magazines to health gurus. And I made self-love my new baseline.”
—Maggie Battista, author of A New Way to Food; founder of EatBoutique.com, an online food shop and recipe site; and cofounder of Fresh Collective, a network of female food entrepreneurs
“Focus on everyday behaviours instead of long-term achievements. This will give you an ongoing feeling of success. I think of it as setting process goals that you achieve daily rather than outcome goals that you achieve in the future. The problem with outcome goals: Success and happiness are on hold until you reach that end point. But process goals focus on a speciﬁc behaviour you can achieve today, so you can create more immediate success and happiness. And when you enjoy doing something, you will keep doing it without having to force yourself.”
— Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian, nutritionist and author of The Superfood Swap
“The best results come when people work in reverse. Instead of trying to achieve a certain result, pretend you’ve already made the change. So if you want to get ﬁt, ask, How would I act if I was in great shape? This approach reveals the habits you can work on building. But it also lets you enjoy taking small steps. Let’s say you can’t exercise one day. If you’re working toward a goal, you might brush it off as a bad day. But if you’re building the identity of someone who never misses a workout, you might do something—even ﬁve or 10 push-ups—to move toward that desired identity. You’re more likely to feel energised by taking small steps that add up to big change. And you’re less likely to skip another day and eventually quit.”
— James Clear, creator of the Habits Academy and author of Atomic Habits
BE HERE, BE NOW
“When working towards your bigger ambition, take action on the one thing you’re doing in the present moment. In yoga, that means feeling this one breath, focusing on this one new-muscle activation, trying this one new move. These moments are called winnable gaps. Instead of taking on all the work required for what’s ahead of you, deal with the single thing you are doing. Think of each moment as an opportunity for discovery and victory. When there are failures or setbacks, count each of those as learning along the way. There is no bad or good; there is simply action and growth. Goals are benchmarks for what’s next. If we are constantly living for something in the future, we will never be fully present.”
— Bethany Lyons, founder and teacher at Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York
“Embarking on a new project is empowering and exciting, and enjoying those beginning stages can help you keep the momentum going. A single bout of exercise, for instance, lowers insulin resistance—so you improve metabolic health after the ﬁrst session, and it gets better from there. Let yourself welcome the feeling of postexercise fatigue and occasional temporary discomfort. These reﬂect the adaptive physiological responses that have been triggered by that ﬁrst bout of exercise. Over time, they will become more of a comforting reward, knowing that you have started a process that will lead to many health beneﬁts.”
— Mark Tarnopolsky, director of the neuromuscular and neurometabolic clinic at McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario
DO A PERSONAL APPRAISAL
“With a fresh start comes a fresh perspective. It’s a time when people take stock in life and also in their belongings. Doing this can be cathartic. It’s empowering to know what we already have—and to be intentional about what we keep and what we weed out.” —Sadie Adams, aesthetician and Sonage skin care brand ambassador Aim for easy targets “Make your daily marks about things that are achievable. For instance, I have clients who start by getting 12,000 steps, seven hours of sleep, one hour completely unplugged from tech, and ﬁve minutes of strength training. First, you’ll love the feeling of accomplishment and then the results, and ultimately you’ll love the feeling of conﬁdence.”
— Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and creator of the Body Reset Diet
AIM FOR EASY TARGETS
“Make your daily marks about things that are achievable. For instance, I have clients who start by getting 12,000 steps, seven hours of sleep, one hour completely unplugged from tech, and ﬁve minutes of strength training. First, you’ll love the feeling of accomplishment and then the results, and ultimately you’ll love the feeling of conﬁdence.”
—Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and creator of the Body Reset Diet
“The most effective way to stick to a wellness journey is to get quick results at first. Commit to just three days of lifestyle changes.”
— JASMINE SCALESCIANI-HAWKEN, CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST AND FOUNDER OF OLIO MAESTRO, A CELLULITE TREATMENT
"Heron Preston En Vogue jacket, Public Figure fanny pack (barneys.com). Alala Vamp tights (alalastyle.com)."
Opposite page: Ulla Johnson Berna pullover sweater (ullajohnson.com)."
“Connecting your daily behaviours to something that really matters to you is a powerful way to create more internal motivation. It helps you see the point in everything you do. To uncover your purpose, ask yourself these questions: Who are you when you’re at your best? Do you have the energy to be that version of yourself as often as you’d like? Think about how your daily activities inﬂuence your ability to achieve your purpose. Is this something that’s giving you more energy you can put towards carrying it out? We want to feel as if we’re progressing; this perspective helps you make more fulﬁlling choices.”
— Raphaela O’Day, senior performance coach and innovation catalyst at Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute
“Look at each workout as a time to ‘work in.’ Does it make you feel strong? Or want to push a little harder? Reconnecting to your body lets you enjoy the process, and you’ll be more motivated.”
— ALEX SILVER-FAGAN, NIKE MASTER TRAINER, AUTHOR, AND CREATOR OF FLOW INTO STRONG
BE YOUR OWN BOSS
“People who are intrinsically motivated ﬁ nd value in the activity itself. For instance, they enjoy exercising for its own sake, which makes it more likely that they will keep doing it. Those who exercise out of guilt, or because a friend or doctor encourages them to, are extrinsically motivated. But if that external factor falls away at some point, they may stop exercising entirely. One way to become more intrinsically motivated is through selftalk. My team’s research suggests that asking yourself questions can be more effective than telling yourself you need to do something. So instead of saying ‘Go for a run,’ ask ‘Will I go for a run today?’ This helps you feel that you have more autonomy in your decisions, and that makes you more intrinsically motivated.” —Sophie Lohmann, graduate student studying motivational-emotional phenomena at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
FIND A RHYTHM
“Our bodies thrive on homeostasis, a rhythm, so instituting some structure helps ease your transition into uncharted territory. Rhythm can be created in many ways—waking up the same time every day, setting aside 10 minutes for meditation, stretching, reading, or any activity that provides comfort, which will give you a sense of pleasure, serenity, and ease. It’s so simple, but the key to building joy into a new venture is incorporating elements that make you happy.” —Jill Beasley, a doctor of naturopathic medicine at Blackberry Mountain, a hotel that focuses on wellness and adventure
TAKE TIME OFF
“A mistake people often make with working out is to assume the ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. Recovery is not just taking a day off . It’s loving your body all along the way and doing maintenance to stay comfortable and as pain-free as possible. For every hour spent exercising, you should spend 30 minutes recovering. That can entail things like a fascia release session, cryotherapy, a massage, or even a good stretch. I call it active recovery. When you treat your body well, you’ll get more out of your training, and you’ll also ultimately be able to put more eff ort into—and get more from—your new venture.”
— Ashley Black, recovery expert and inventor of the FasciaBlaster
BE PREPARED TO PIVOT
“Be open to possibilities you never expect. When we invest time and resources into a certain career, it is easy to get ﬁxated on staying the course. But some of the most interesting pivots happen when we see another, often totally unexpected path—and go for it. It’s crucial to feel really invested in it. If you see the research, networking, and hurdles you overcome as exciting because you are on the path you were dreaming about, you will be happier when you reach your goal. Many entrepreneurs say that the most exciting part was the work that went into creating their business.”
— Sara Bliss, author of Take the Leap: Change Your Career, Change Your Life
Left: The North Face TNF Logo Box beanie, Homestead Roadsoda backpack (thenorthface.com). Hunter Original Lightweight jacket (hunterboots.com). Koral Aello Shantung leggings (koral.com).
Right: The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse jacket, Winter Warm leggings, thenorthface.com). Hat is stylist’s own.
Bottom right: Banana Republic Utility shirt (bananarepublic.com). Eddie Bauer Kettle Mountains Stormshed jacket (eddiebauer.com). Sanctuary Peace Trooper Sport pant ($129, sanctuaryclothing.com).
“We tend to think of joy as nice but not a necessity, so it often gets overlooked in the daily shufflfie. But research suggests that it can have surprisingly powerful effects: It shields the body from stress, protects the cardiovascular system, and sharpens our minds. To tune in to the everyday things that bring you bliss, try joyspotting—focusing your attention on pleasurable things, like the brilliant blue of the sky or the smell of your morning coffee. These things remind us that joy is all around us, and they can kick off what psychologists call upward spirals, which promote happiness and well-being and boost motivation.”
—Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful
PHOTOS DEAN ISIDRO STYLING BROOKE ELY DANIELSON HAIR RIAD AZAR/ART DEPARTMENT FOR R + CO. MAKEUP BRIAN DUPREY/JUDY CASEY INC. FOR MAKE UP FOR EVER