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The one thing Candice Kumai is incorporating into her New Year’s goals


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Photo: Candice Kumai
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You wake up on week two of 2018 (after crushing week one of your New Year’s goals, obvi) feeling very inclined to hit snooze and skip your new morning meditation routine. Sound familiar?

Yep, we often have lofty intentions—but maintaining them is another story.  So what’s the secret to keeping yourself from sleeping through your Zen time (or whatever your resolution is)? For Well+Good Council member and classically trained chef Candice Kumai, it’s all about community.

“My kind and open social online community is the inspiration to keep working, and my support system,” Kumai says. “In Japanese, the Okinawans call this their yuimaru—the circle of the people.”

“My kind and open social online community is the inspiration to keep working, and my support system.”

Having a group of cheerleaders who actually support your goals is key. But for those mornings when your people are still asleep and you need that extra nudge to get out of bed, a virtual stand-in can actually make a huge difference. That’s where the Daily+ by Noteworthy (the super positive online community created by essential oil powerhouse Aura Cacia®) comes in.

Throughout the year, the Daily+ will send you inspiring quotes, notes of encouragement, essential oil guides, and more—AKA, it’s straight up inspiration to take your mindful intentions to the next level.

And according to Kumai, that kind of backbone is seriously important. Below, the wellness guru explains how to use community as a major tool for success—for your resolutions and, well, life.

Keep reading for three key ways Kumai says leaning on community can help you stick to your 2018 goals. 
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Photo: Aura Cacia

1. Your squad can help you improve your mindset

If you thought New Year’s resolutions were just for wellness newbies, think again. Even the golden girl of wellness herself celebrates by setting intentions that will add on to her existing good habits.

“The Japanese celebrate the New Year big,” Kumai says. “And while I’m not a huge fan of dieting or being restrictive, a new year means a season of change, which we should all embrace. If you can shift your mindset to practicing living well as a lifestyle, you can commit to making more positive changes.”

“If you can shift your mindset to practicing living well as a lifestyle, you can commit to making more positive changes.”

For Kumai, change in 2018 will start with her mind. After a trip to learn from monks in the mountains of Kōyasan, Japan, she’s focusing on slowing down from her usual New York City hustle. “Perhaps 2018 is my year to reflect, and restore, and to feel good,” she notes.

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Photo: Aura Cacia

2. A support group is key for taking care of your body

For Kumai, restoring her mind means dedicating a portion of her schedule each week to yoga, running, or barre (though she notes she doesn’t beat herself up for missing a workout anymore—a shift she can add to the “accomplished” column).

“I work out on the regular with only the intent to feel good and for mental health,” Kumai says, and she credits many of those feel-good vibes to being surrounded by a likeminded girl squad at the studio.

Your squad should be real, non-judgmental, honest and empathetic.”

“I’m obsessed with meeting up for yoga with my girls, and also making new friends at yoga,” Kumai says. “Your squad should be real, non-judgmental, honest and empathetic—the ones who uplift you, support you and say, ‘I got you, girl.’ In return you should be the same with them.”

Feeling supported in spirit—whether it’s because you woke up to a Daily+ note of inspiration or a text from a friend confirming your 8 a.m. barre date—can help keep you on track with your physical goals, too. 

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Photo: Aura Cacia

3. A positive community leads to a positive home

Kumai’s waterfront home is her sanctuary (which she hustled to score all on her own), and in 2018 she is committing to transforming it into an even more positive space conducive for sharing with the people she loves.

“I’m working on making my home and my kitchen a safe, comfy and feel-good space by adding more green plants, more essential oils in my diffuser, lots of healing crystals, and more fab dinner parties,” she says, which makes sense. As a chef, Kumai has long turned to cooking as a resource for connecting with others, which is why she not only loves hosting but sharing her thoughtfully created recipes online.

“If I can make a positive impact […] then I feel that I may be contributing to something bigger.”

“I love connecting with my posse. But second to that, if I can make a positive impact on social and through my website then I feel that I may be contributing to something bigger,” Kumai says. ” My mom always says, ‘If you can do something great with your life, why not?'”

In partnership with Noteworthy by Aura Cacia®

Top photo: Courtesy of Candice Kumai

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