A Menu for a new year.

A how-to for making your own Vitality Menu for a new year.

Below the video, you'll find a sample Vitality Menu with some of my menu items. Here are some tips for creating yours:

  1. It's a menu, not a to do list, so shape each of your menu items as offerings rather than requirements.

  2. There's no need for numerical guidelines other than # of minutes/hours of something that will make you feel good. Instead of "write 4 poems," simply offer, "write a poem." This is about what you can do right now (including little things you can do towards your entrees), not what you SHOULD do.

  3. Remove guilt, replace with gratitude. When we set resolutions or goals for ourselves, we often go big or broad - "work out more," or "work out every day for at least an hour," and if we don't meet those vague or difficult goals, we feel like shit. We've failed because on Thursday we had a cold or it was super rainy out or it was just really hard to get out of bed. Instead, these are opportunities you've given yourself to feel more vital - that might include working out, and if every time you go to the gym or take a dance class you feel that sense of vitality rather than guilt, you'll probably keep going.

  4. Print your menu or write it out by hand and hang it by your work space so that when you're feeling low energy or burnt out, you have a menu of ways to feel vital and rejuvenate – and you can thank you for that!

  5. Keep track of how many times you use a menu item - just with a simple check mark on the menu or in a spreadsheet if you'd like. Tweak your list through the year if there's something else you want to add or one of these offerings is not helping you feel vital and energized. At the end of the year, you can see just how much you did and share gratitude for your practice of compassion for your self.

Julia Firestone