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After the ball drops, many establish resolutions and renewed focus. While these can span the gamut of personal goals, most people choose to focus on aspects of their health and wellness.

There’s a popular belief that it’s the perfect time to hit the reset button — a new year, a new you! While those fitness and nutrition goals are wonderful, they may oddly enough trigger comments that are insensitive and downright hurtful.

I believe a lack of etiquette is often due to a lack of self-awareness. Many times, people unknowingly say things that sting and it truly wasn’t their intention.

To avoid some of these mishaps, let’s review some do’s and don’ts as we learn to encourage – rather than discourage – our friends and loved ones on their wellness journeys this year.

Do: purchase a cute, inexpensive tumbler to encourage them to drink more water.

Don't: lecture them on the health hazards of diet soda. Most likely, they already know. Plus, sometimes it’s about progress over perfection!

Do: compliment their wellness efforts by sharing that they look happy and healthy.

Don’t: reference weight. When people say, “You look great and so skinny,” it’s a backhanded compliment. It indicates they didn’t look good before.

Do: your part to help them be successful. Initiate going on a walk or to the gym together or choose to meet at a restaurant with healthy meal options.

Don’t: tempt them with even the smallest treat. This can derail their efforts. Even the smallest splurges can add up and ultimately impact their efforts.

Do: be a cheerleader. Encourage them to keep up all the things they’re doing well.

Don’t: be a coach unless they have asked for your help, and steer clear of being critical.

Do: share how you get a good night’s rest, whether that’s essential oils or reducing screen and TV time.

Don’t: say they look tired! No one wants to hear that they look worn out and haggard.

OUR WORDS DO MATTER and how we use them is important. They can motivate or deflate. They have power. If we could all be more mindful to create deliberate, positive communication, the world we live in would me a much kinder, constructive place.


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