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It’s My Birthday! Celebrate with Me.

by Elise Museles

It’s my birthday!! It feels like one big {virtual} party where I open my heart and share something personal with you to kick off my next trip around the sun. 

This year, I’m trying something new! Remember the 12 Tiny Changes Challenge?! Well, consider this a personalized version: one small change each month, to shift my mindset and bring more joy, more time, and less stress into my life. What could be better? It’s like giving myself a dozen presents, spread throughout the entire year, and I’m calling it 12 Little Gifts!

Here’s my list of gifts to myself…

1. Get More Sleep
I still haven’t cemented sound sleep into a habit! When I took a poll on my Instagram Stories, 93% of you responded that you also want more support to get a good night’s rest. Of all the things we could do to dramatically improve our health, reduce stress, and alter our quality of life, sleep is a superfood! To help us prioritize getting more zzz’s, I’ve committed to sharing one tip each Sunday so we start the week well-rested! (More on SLEEP TIP SUNDAY here.)

2. Scroll Mindfully
I talk about mindful eating a lot, but mindfulness really does affect all areas of our lives. Setting better boundaries with technology (my phone especially) allows me to engage more with people around me, tap into the wisdom of my body, and notice all the magical moments in every single day. (And just in case that’s not enough? Science now says less screen time could make us happier.)

3. Go Beyond Self-Care
Nowadays, self-care is a household buzzword – which is a good thing! But I’m going beyond weekly rituals and challenging myself to do something for me, Monday through Sunday. I call them Daily Non-Negotiables: simple, healthy practices for every single day, no matter what. No more excuses that life is too busy. Find my top two ways to stay grounded!

4. Take a Breath
Who doesn’t need a deep breath? Just a few slow, intentional breaths can literally alter our emotions and responses to stressful situations. I catch myself taking shallow breaths all the time (and even forgetting to breathe at all), so it’s no wonder I feel tense! We need oxygen, but it’s easy to let our cluttered thoughts rule our breathing. Instead, simply inhale and exhale. Ahhhh.

5. Break Up with Numbers
I stopped counting calories and fat grams years ago, but I haven’t totally broken up with numbers. I still obsess over blog traffic, email open rates, and likes and comments on Instagram. (Who doesn’t get an addictive little hit of dopamine when our phone pings back at us?) But this year, I’m dumping metrics and tuning in to how I feel

6. Forget Perfect
From a lifelong perfectionist, it’s hard to let go. But with so many big projects in the works for 2018, I can’t think of a better time to adjust my insatiable need to correct myself. My podcast, new rebrand and website, and my second book are powerful ways to “put it all out there,” and to do so, I have to release perfection. As they say: Done is better than perfect. (I’m still working on that!)

7. Celebrate Daily
About halfway into the year, I want to make sure that I’m living up to my word of the year: celebrate! To celebrate 2018, I’m writing down one thing to celebrate each day in a journal; like a gratitude practice, it helps me pause for something positive – worth celebrating! It means not obsessing over every detail or big goal; rather, it’s more time spent appreciating the little things. Getting there, not being there.

8. Listen In
I’m a classic overthinker, and today’s fast-paced world bombards us with information, demands, and distractions. But when I pay attention to my gut and turn down the noise, the answers I need to hear always become clear. Getting out of my head, so that I can deeply listen to what my body intuitively knows, is a practice I’m even more determined to master this year.

9. Invite Variety
You might not believe it, but even I get into food ruts, eating the same old things over and over. I have go-to snacks and favorite meals, and they get into heavy rotation. When I’m busy (who isn’t?), I default to old favorites as one less choice to make. But a little variety and experimentation in my meal planning might just make me more adventurous in other areas of my life, too! 

10. Have More Fun
Confession time: I almost never take time off. I mean, I do, but not really: I still check emails or post to social media. And as satisfying as it is feeling fully in-the-know or crossing something off my list, this year, I want to learn how to let fun in without that nagging feeling that I should be doing something else. It comes down to being present and knowing that the work will still be there waiting.

11. Embrace Spontaneity
To help undo my overthinking, I need to be more spontaneous. Life feels easier (and less stressful) when I go with the flow. I want to relax comfortably into the unknown and make room for things to unfold as they may. At its core, being spontaneous is greeting life with an open mind and an open heart – letting it happen, instead of worrying about things that I can’t control.

And now the last (but not least) gift…

12. Tell My Food Story (!)
This one isn’t so much a simple change to take place over the course of a month, but it is a gift… for you and for me! As I continue to help you discover your Food Story all year long through my new programs (coming!) and soon-to-be-released podcast (sooo soon!), I’m also going to tell more of my own Food Story. Because when we share our truths, we connect more fully with one another, growing and healing as individuals and as a community.

So, as I blow out the candles this year, I’ll be thinking of you. Thank you for giving me the not-so-little gift of an audience and a platform to do what I love. You’re my inspiration – and the biggest gift of all!

Now it’s your turn: What little gifts will you give yourself this year? Share your ideas in the comments! I can’t think of a better or more inspiring way to spend my birthday than by reading your answers.

6 Responses to It’s My Birthday! Celebrate with Me.

  1. Beverly Rosenstein January 11, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    This is a very special year for me as well to celebrate my personhood. I’ve learned to rid my body & soul of toxins. From time to time I indulge but without guilt. Remember, the shame of it is that one has to feel guilty for being human. Let go & feel what you must. Without feeling, we are a mere bag of shells! Too many expectations rear disappointment.
    I try to be more tolerant of others who share & not condemn.
    My body tells me when I need something to heal or to celebrate life.
    My mantra is nothing in excess.
    Yoga, mindful eating, exercise & positive energy bring me happiness.
    The freedom to choose how I eat is empowering. Choices today are endless.
    Elise has broadened my horizons by writing the very words I need & appreciate.
    Looking forward to your podcast

  2. Meredith January 12, 2018 at 12:01 am #

    I will continue growing my business, practicing great self-care, and taking time to enjoy my family. Healthy and joyful living, clean and simple! Mixing in as much time with friends as I can for the balance…
    So many gifts to appreciate. Thank you, Elise, for reminding me of that!

    • Elise Museles January 12, 2018 at 12:18 am #

      Meredith! You have the most grounded energy. Thanks so much for sharing and being such a light! You are a gift!!


  3. Gal January 12, 2018 at 12:14 am #

    Wow! So insightful and genuine. Thank you Elise for sharing your journey so openly with us. It’s been motivating and inspiring on so many levels.
    Happy Birthday my dear (texting) friend ! May it be a year of continued growth and successful achievements for you!!

    • Elise Museles January 12, 2018 at 12:19 am #

      I wish the exact same thing for you as you begin a new chapter in your own life. It has been such a gift getting to know you this year. We will meet soon! xo

  4. Dana January 12, 2018 at 5:04 pm #

    Elise, happy birthday to you. I wish for your whole weekend to be a big celebration even if you are by yourself, you celebrate you! I want to thank you for being a wonderful friend. It’s a blessing to have you in my life. You are so genuine and giving of yourself. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you all the best with lots of love

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