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2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year

2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year

As another year is coming to its end, we couldn’t help but seeing the year to come as a chance for a new beginning, a blank slate on which we can write new stories, and hopefully, ones with happy endings. Sometimes, however, we are so desperate to start over, erase the past year, and reach some idealistic, out-of-our-reach goals, that we get frustrated and disappointed if we fail. We want to meet so many great, life-changing goals that we don’t stop to think what is really important. We only focus on the outcome that we believe will make us happy and fulfilled, but what is more important is the journey itself and what we learn about ourselves in the process.

Before setting goals, take a good look at what you’ve learned in the previous year

The most important thing we should all focus on is to work on ourselves, and to constantly ask ourselves how we can be better, happier people. Getting a bigger salary, buying a new car, or starting a romantic relationship may be good things, but may not make you as happy as you think. Before setting goals that you feel are necessary for making you a happier person, you need to look deep down and embrace what you have learned about yourself in the previous year, both positive and negative. You need to dig deep and see what you need to improve so as to achieve personal growth.

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Before setting your goals, you need to rethink whether you are making them for the right reasons. If you are unhappy at work, getting a bigger salary is not going to make you feel better in a longer run. You need to reflect on why you feel miserable at your job, and what you can do to change that. Only when you take a good look at situations that made you feel bad, you will know what aspects of your life you should change and only then you can set the right goals.

Cherish all the experiences, good and bad, and celebrate how far you’ve come

When you reflect on how far you’ve come, you can see what you are capable of, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Realizing that makes it possible for you to see where you can improve and thus make new goals that you feel confident you will achieve.

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When stopping to think about the past year and all the experience you’ve had, it’s easy to focus on how you may have failed to meet the goals you planned. When you do that, however, you miss out on seeing the lessons these “failures” can teach. Failures make us learn something and realize what we can do to make our lives better. So, when you reflect on your journey, don’t run away from failures, rather look at them as something positive, as something that made you who you are now, something that made you stronger.

There were definitely situations thought the past year when you had to make a leap and step out of your comfort zone, so make sure to give yourself the credit you deserve. Reward yourself for being so brave to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing before since that’s a huge step forward in your life and should be celebrated.

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For the year to come, don’t base your goals on the negative emotions you have now, base them on the positive feelings you want to have when you achieve them. Above all, set yourself up for success! Don’t set some big goal you want be able to achieve and then feel bad – set smaller goals that will eventually lead to a bigger life change.  Once you check off your list one small goal at a time, you will gain a sense of completion. Crossing smaller items off the list promotes positive energy, and that in the end will help you to become a happier, better person.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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Ana Erkic

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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