Saturday, January 05, 2008

Taking advantage of the NEW YEAR

Every year millions of people commit on January 1st to change their lives. Usually by January 15th they have surrendered their goals and gone back to their ordinary routines. Why is it that we can't seem to carry through with our New Year's Resolutions? How can stick to a new plan? Here are some thoughts and notes that may help!
Step 1- Have an actual goal
Most people say they want to lose weight or even lose ten pounds. That is not a goal, it is an idea. A goal is something clearly defined, measurable and has a definite start and stop time. Say you want to lose weight, for example. The first step to creating a weight loss goal would be to find out what your ideal weight is. Talk to your doctor before starting any weight-loss programs. While you're at it, ask your doctor what he or she recommends. Determine exactly how much weight you want to lose and by what date.
Step 2- Evaluate your goal
Is your goal realistic? Is it safe? Are you going to be able to fulfill your goal with your current family/work environment? IF the answer is no, you may need to tailor your goal to your personal situation. If I worked in a cubicle for twelve hours a day and lived in a cramped city, it might be hard for me to get out and run five miles a day.
Step 3- Disseminate your goal
Write your goal out clearly on paper. Keep a few copies available in places that you frequent. Let your friends, family, and co-workers know what your goal is. They may be able to help you accomplish your goal. They will certainly be able to remind you of your goal.
Step 4- Set benchmarks
Your goal may seem like a faraway dream at times and that is why having benchmarks can help you. If for example you want to participate in and complete a marathon you should determine what an appropriate training schedule would look like. If the week before the event you can only run two miles before stopping you may find completing the marathon to be near impossible. But by figuring out how fast or slow you are progressing toward your goal (ie, every week you can run a half mile more than the week before) take that into account and back plan. Test yourself on a regular basis, giving yourself time to improve before testing, and determine whether or not you are on track.
Step 5- Completing your goal
If it is a true goal and you are true to it, then you will eventually complete it. Excellent. Once you have completed your goal, look at yourself again and determine whether or not you are perfect (this should be a no-brainer) and determine what area you will work on next.
Other things that might help you are periodically taking pictures of yourself to be able to more clearly show progress. Try keeping a journal including your thoughts and feelings. Also in your journal you might write the comments people make relating to your goal. Good luck with your new year's resolutions!