Many of us have the best of intentions when we choose our New Year’s Resolutions – to exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, manage anger, be nice to a difficult neighbor, co-worker or family member, and a host of other constructive actions.
But for too many people, their good attitude fades quickly when they are faced with the challenge of being persistent and following through. Decades of research into success have demonstrated that setting goals, making plans and taking action until the goal is achieved is a time-tested and consistently effective formula.
The same thing can be said about setting our health goals – if we intend to accomplish some particular milestone in a given area of our health, we’ll do better when we set a goal, prepare a strategy we know will work, and execute that strategy with drive, enthusiasm, resilience and determination.
Here are some suggestions for health and wellness goals for the
1. Evaluate your eating habits, and create some reasonable steps you could take to improve them. If you eat too much, or the wrong things, decide upon some guidelines you feel you can honor, and hold yourself to them. There are many right ways to eat — some eating styles focus on or avoid certain food groups, while others recommend a balance of foods, but you can find a healthy way to eat that works for you. Avoid eating late at night – it makes your body work when it should be resting and recuperating from the day’s activities. Pick finite, specific, measurable goals, like no eating after 8 PM, or eating only at mealtime, or a particular blend of foods that nourishes you properly. Create nutritional targets to aim for and hit, including a target weight if desired.
2. Drink plenty of water. A good goal would be to drink half your body weight in ounces every day – in other words, if you weigh 128 pounds, you need to drink 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounce glasses per day, while if you weigh 192 pounds, you need to drink 96 ounces, or twelve 8-ounce glasses per day. Hydrating your cells, tissues and organs helps them to work better, clean themselves better, and live longer.
3.. Develop an appropriate exercise program. You may need to start with parking the car a block from work and walking a little bit each day to get into shape to do more. Depending on your level of fitness, you may want to include running, stretching, weight lifting, martial arts, yoga, or any individualized mix of movements that suits your fancy. The key is to establish a system and do it consistently. It’s better to pace yourself than to overdo it. Select an exercise plan you can commit to, and keep refining it to match your current health status, so you can make steady progress. You’ll be amazed how quickly you improve with regular exercise.
4. Reduce the impact of your stress with some kind of breathing exercises (like SRI), yoga or meditation. Calming your mind and relaxing is essential for good health. Set a goal to spend a certain amount of time each day investing in your mental and emotional health. You’ll find that as little as ten or twenty minutes a day of stress relaxation techniques can make a profound difference in your stress levels. This is one of the easiest ways to feel better – make a specific daily plan, even if you start with just a few minutes a day, and get into the habit of practicing inner balance.
5. Make an investment in the health and wellness of your brain, your heart, and your body. Build a team of advisors, each to serve a specific purpose in your health strategy, and consult them for fine tuning of your plan. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you design a dream team of health professionals, and a game plan for using each to best advantage.
To get and stay healthy, take responsibility — see yourself well, write out your goals and plans and refer back to them daily or weekly to keep yourself on target — it will reward you many times over.
Get Inspired For The New Year!
Here is Time Magazine’s list of the Top Ten Most Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions:
1) Lose Weight and Get Fit
2) Quit Smoking
3) Learn Something New
4) Eat Healthier and Diet
5) Get out of Debt and Save Money
6) Spend More Time With Family
7) Travel To New Places
8) Be Less Stressed
10) Drink Less
How interesting that so many of these directly relate to improving health! And how sad that so few people follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions, no matter how good their intentions. Here are some inspiring quotes from some of our greatest thought leaders, to support you in staying on point:
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney
“Your success and happiness lie in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
– Helen Keller
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog. “ – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur