Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions and Goals

Have you made any New Year's resolutions this year, with the goal of improving your health?  Or have you tried that previously and found you don't stick to them?  Do you have some health related goals that you would like to achieve but don't know quite where to start?

The Goal Keeper by aussiegall

It is good to make health related goals and resolutions, but the key to success is focusing on one at a time, and making the goals small and manageable. For example, instead of having a goal "to be healthier" which can include so many different things, focus on one important area to start with.  Your one selected area may be to visualize a "finish line" of losing 50 lbs in weight, but now you need to work back to that very first step you need to take ie how do I lose 2 lbs this week?  What do I need to do today?

It is also important to consider priorities.  It's no good having a goal that may solve one issue in your life, but create another one in it's place, for example having a plan of action that takes time away from an important family issue. This could then result in more stress.

"Things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least." 

So spend some time on goal setting.  These useful criteria may help as you set healthful goals for yourself this month:

1. The goal must be specific.
2. The goal must be measurable.  "Doing better" is not measurable.
3. The goal must be realistic and safe.  Individual limitations should be taken into consideration.
4. The goal must have a reasonable time allotted and be reasonable to attain.  If too short a time frame is chosen, this can result in stress and frustration, while a prolonged time frame can lead to discouragement, as well as loss of enthusiasm and motivation.
5. Document your goal.  Write it down and preferably pin it up somewhere where you will read it at least once a day.  Also mark it in your calendar/schedule.
6. Spend some time discussing your plan with others who may be affected. Who else is involved in this process? Who else will it affect and where do they fit in the overall picture.   These people - family or friends, can be great supporters and encouragers, and will more likely be so if they know about and understand your goal right from the start, and recognize that you have considered them too.

It can also help to work with a health coach for setting goals and prioritizing. Sometimes the goal that you have decided on, or your physician has recommended for you, can seem daunting and unreachable, but working with a trained health coach can help you decide your priorities and manageable steps along the way, all the while considering you as an individual and how your life and values fit in with it all.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together".              
Vincent Van Gogh


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