Healthy Living with Jilisa Ghareeb: Kicking Off the New Year


We made it!  Some of us may be worse for wear, but we are here.  Every year but more so this year, I hear the same things about the year that is ending.

Good Riddance!
I cannot wait for this year to be over!
This has been the worst year of my life!

But what we if flipped those phases around and looked at the past year as a year of true growth. We have faced challenge after challenge, we have adapted, and we have overcome.  Bad things happened but we are still here, we are still moving, and we have the opportunity to move forward.

I do not believe that January 1st is magical.  You woke up the same person on that morning as you did the morning before. Nothing magical happened at midnight.  You need to make the magic happen. You are the magic.  It is possible to make this magic anytime, it can be on the 16th or a Wednesday.  It does not have to be the 1st of any month or a Monday.  But since we are closing out the year and starting a new one why don’t we take back control and move forward with gusto (isn’t that a great word)!  Here are 10 things you can do (in no particular order) to move your life forward for the better.

  1. Eat healthier – You had to know I was going to start with this one. Eating healthier is not about becoming vegan or eating a paleo diet.  It is evaluating your own diet and picking even one thing to change.  If you drink pop, cut the amount in half or if you can eliminate it. Start with something, cut it in half or cut it out completely and I bet that will snowball into more changes.
  2. Move intentionally – Honestly, it was a debate to start with this one or eating. They are both important in my book.  Seriously though get up and move, at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.  And I am not talking about moving from the couch to the fridge.  Get out and walk, dance, swim, start an at home workout program (I can help with this!). Just do something that gets you moving.  Move now so you can move later!
  3. Personal Development – A few years ago I would have rolled my eyes at this but not anymore. Read or listen, it does not matter! Books that inspire, motivate, and move you into action.  This could be the Bible and devotions, books about budgeting, gardening, clay model building, feeling your feelings, working with your emotions, or parenting.  Anything!  And I mean anything.  Listen to people who have gone through what you are going through or have mastered what you want to do so that you can learn and then pass along your knowledge.
  4. Learn something new – In addition to personal development, take action and learn something new. Don’t just read the book on clay model building, go out and buy the clay and start.  It is going to be sloppy at first (go back and read my articles for proof!) but who cares.  You must start somewhere.
  5. Take control of your budget – This is vital to everyone. Find the system that works for you. It does not matter if it works for someone else or not.  They don’t pay your bills or manage your savings account.  Do what you have to do to take care of yourself financially. And I should not have to say this but keep it legal.  Having a side hustle or 2 does not mean you are trying to get rich so you can retire at 35.  It means that you are being responsible so that in uncertain times you can take care of you and your family.
  6. Self-Love or Me Time – One of the most overused phrases of the year but it is much needed. You must take care of you so that you can take care of others.  This one is honestly quite simple, but we talk ourselves out of it so easily.  Something as simple as taking a bath or sitting quietly for 15 mins to getting a manicure or going out with friends.  Do something at least a few times a week just for you.
  7. Detox your relationships – Eeek! This one can be hard. If you are in any sort of toxic relationship, you need to figure out a way to get out of it.  This can be a romantic, family or friend relationship, it does not matter.  Cut the ties immediately if you can or make a plan to get out (even if it is going to take a month or 2).  This one is vital to your growth.  Do not let someone hold you back because of the position you believe they have in your life.  This one is going to sting (maybe even just flat out hurt) at first, but you will see the light soon.
  8. Detox your home – Just like your relationships (although those may be harder) you need to get rid of the things in your home that are weighing you down. All that stuff in your attic or basement, the stuff hidden under your bed, get rid of it.  If you can donate it or sell it (make a few bucks since you are working on #5 anyway).  Or maybe it is taking down a wall or removing that ugly wallpaper you have hated since the day you moved in.  Your home is your command center, it should make you happy and bring you joy.
  9. Spread love and kindness – Do this wherever you go every single day. This does not cost you anything and it takes hardly any effort.  It takes more effort and energy to be mean, disrespectful, and rude.  The simple act of smiling (it’s my favorite) is contagious.  Try it I dare you.  Be kind always!
  10. Set goals, make plans, and take action – What is your dream? Like the dream of all dreams. Do you want to sell cotton candy at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro?  Do you want to write a book about the best way to grow tomatoes in Michigan?  Do you want to be a motivational speaker and hold seminars?  Then sit down right now and set goals that will get you to what you want.  Once the goals are set then make plans to reach those goals. Then get up and take action.  People may roll their eyes or laugh at you (see #7 in regard to this), do not pay attention to them.  This is your dream not theirs.

Whether you agree or disagree with this list, I know you know that you have to act.  You cannot just sit idly by and expect all things to be handed to you.  Remember YOU ARE THE MAGIC!  January 1st is not the magic, Monday is not the magic, the new year is not the magic.  You are.  You have everything you need to change your life. You have everything you need to grow.  Now get up and make magic!  Here is a recipe and an exercise move to get you started!

Roasted Vegetables

Preheat oven to 350.
Use any vegetable you like!  Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, onion, asparagus, green beans, squash, zucchini, eggplant, brussel sprouts.  Absolutely anything!

Chop them up to your desired size.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.  Any of your favorite seasonings.
Toss around in the bowl and then toss on a baking sheet.
Place in oven and roast for about 30 mins.
Voila!  Super simple and delicious.  Eat as a main dish or pair with grilled chicken, fish, or a nice steak.

Pro tip for roasting carrots.  Parboil them for about 10-15 minutes first.  Raw carrots take a long time to roast in the oven.  If you parboil them until fork tender, which means to partly cook them in boiling water, they will roast quicker!

Shoulder press

Stand with your feet facing forward and hip width apart (not wider than your hips). Bend at the knees and pick up the dumbbells. Please use an appropriate weight. If you are new to this go light with a 5 or 8lb dumbbell. Bring the dumbbells up with the palms facing forwards. Your elbows will stay in line with your shoulders. Press the weights up till your arms are almost straight. Bring your arms back down with your elbows in line with your shoulders.  That is 1 rep.  Repeat for 8-12 reps.  Take a short break for about 30 seconds and repeat for a 2nd set.

An alternate way to stand is in a split stance (also called a kickstand).  If you are not stable on your feet, you can also do a seated shoulder press (not pictured).  Sit on a bench or on the edge of a chair and follow the steps above.

Now go make magic!

Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 5 years.  Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world.  As a coach she, is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating, and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email ([email protected]), on Instagram ( or Facebook (

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