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Set Yourself up for Success With New Year's Resolutions
by Dave Foreman
New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Which of the following resolutions are you looking into this year?
•Get more exercise
•Learn something new
•Spend more time with friends and family
•Enjoy life more
•Get out of debt
•Get organized If you take a closer look at each one of these, they all link either directly or indirectly to your health.We all understand the health benefits that increased exercise, stopping smoking and drinking, and losing weight can have. But how does helping others, enjoying life more, learning something new, getting organized or even getting out of debt make us healthier? Well, for one they help us feel better about ourselves and reduce the amount of stress in our lives. In past articles I have discussed the negative effects (immune, cardiovascular, digestive, etc.) that stress can impose on your body. By helping to eliminate added stress, you will have more energy and help your body address many of the other challenges it may have to deal with.
Set your Goal
My primary reason for writing this article is to provide you with Foundational and Fundamental ideas on achieving your New Year's Goals. Whether or not your goal is directly related to your health or not doesn't really matter. This information can help you achieve whatever goals you may have. To reach your goal, you must first set your goal. Your goal should be reasonable, which may mean doing some homework on what is reasonable to achieve. An example would be someone who has spent the last 10 years putting on an extra 50 pounds and thinking they should lose that weight in 30 days. If you did your homework you would learn that you should lose a pound to a pound and a half per week which means it would take you 33-50 weeks to shed those pounds. If you set your goal (expectations) to be in a much shorter timeframe, that would be unreasonable, unhealthy and usually lead you to "give up" and fail.
Here are some basic steps to help you set and reach your goal(s):
1. Define your goal: Be specific about what you want to achieve. For example, how many pounds, timeframe, etc.?
2. Outline the steps needed: Once you have decided "where you want to go" you need to figure out how you plan to get there. Map out the steps needed to reach your goal.
3. Set a timeline: You goal and your timeline to reach your goal are up to you.
4. Ask for help: Consult someone who knows more about the subject than you do. Asking for help can be used for all aspects of your goal.
5. Consider possible delays or roadblocks: (These are a major reason people never reach their intended goal.) There are many potential delays and you need to be aware of what they are and how to prepare for them. I have heard so many people say "I was doing great until...we went on vacation...I got sick...my son moved back in with me..." The list is endless. Like a boy scout, be prepared.
6. Reward yourself:Build this into your outline and timeline. Example: For every 4 pounds I lose I can take 1 day off from activity. All work and no play makes you a very unhappy person.
7. Write it all down:This is the most important step. Write down exactly what you want to achieve and post it in a place where you will see it every day.
8. Set yourself in motion: For things to change in your life, you must change. Setting yourself in motion means don't just think about it or talk about it, but do it. The burden/responsibility of your change is yours and no one else's. The sooner you set yourself in motion the quicker you will achieve your goal(s).
Whatever you do - Don't Give Up! My favorite story to tell my children is "The Tortoise and the Hare". Slow and steady wins the race. Just as I mentioned above, you need to set yourself in motion and then keep it going. Go slow and don't give up!