Six months after Bill McKibben began training to become an Olympic cross-country skier, his father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Putting himself through the rigor of training buoyed his spirits and helped him endure the loss of his father. “There are times in life when you can’t always be thinking because the thoughts are too sad,” McKibben says. “That’s when to push yourself hard physically and make your heart work in a different way.” He encourages others to take a risk and try something that’s always looked like fun. Vow to master your kid’s scooter or skateboard. Sign up for a 5-K. Try a monthly basketball night with your Curves pals. “If it’s something you think you might fail at, then it’s a very good thing to try.”
Loading up on processed foods puts you at risk for diabetes, weight gain, and a host of other health problems, says Celia Westberry, author of Eat Yourself Younger Effortlessly. By eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains, Westberry says, she has steered clear of diabetes, despite a family history of it, and stayed at a healthy weight. She makes sure to include at least one fruit or vegetable, plus a healthy grain, at every meal and snack.
Caroline Adams Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life, says she frequently writes a note of thanks to those who help her and is always scanning her environment for things to be grateful for. “Not only do I begin to feel better as a result of contemplating blessings as opposed to burdens, but I also know there is a positive surge of emotion in those who receive a note of gratitude,” she says.