Spring Cleaning Your New Year’s Resolutions

photo3Happy spring! The warmer weather and blooming flowers give us energy to do a bit of spring cleaning. However, I’m not talking about the traditional spring cleaning of your house or office; I am referring to re-evaluating the goals you set for yourself in January. Have you found yourself slipping back to old, less healthy habits? Has your enthusiasm and motivation to accomplish these goals waned with each passing month? If so, you’re not alone.

I feel that the New Year brings with it hope, numerous possibilities and a clean slate. What did you hope to accomplish in 2014? Do any of your goals involve health, nutrition or being more active? If so, keep reading.
One of my goals is to continue to help motivate others to make small, achievable lifestyle changes in 2014 and I feel that spring is the perfect time to dust off those New Year’s resolutions that you haven’t yet achieved and develop a plan to accomplish them before 2014.

Let’s get started . . . . First, think about what you want or wish for, but currently do not have. I say “wish” because sometimes we are too afraid or nervous to write down a particular desire when we feel it is inappropriate or we feel we don’t deserve it. I feel that calling this your “wish” list gives it a positive feeling and provides you with the courage to begin to take the steps necessary to achieve your wishes or goals. Use whichever word works the best for you.

Your goal can be anything like running two miles without stopping, preparing at least three healthy, balanced meals at home each week, eating one fresh fruit each day, or practicing yoga two mornings each week. Notice I did not mention losing weight as a goal. Losing weight is the RESULT of making positive lifestyle changes and should not be your wish. Adapting healthy lifestyle changes are the steps required to reach a weight loss or weight maintenance goal.

Grab a pen and paper and make your wish list by following these guidelines:

Your goals:
• Must be specific and positively stated. “I will eat 5 fruits and vegetables daily” verses “I will eat more fruits and vegetables daily.”
• Need to be important to you, the goal setter. “I need to do this or I want to do this” are better than “I should do this.”
• Must be under your control. Losing weight is NOT a goal; it is a result. Goals are the actions that you take to reach a result. Set short-term goals (about 2 to 6 weeks long). “I will eat until I am moderately full rather than overfull for two meals each day.”

Take some time to create your list.

Make each wish as specific as possible and achievable as well as something that YOU want. In order to make your wish come true, the desire to achieve it has to come from YOU and not be the wish of someone else.
Have fun with this list. It will give you something to strive for, look forward to and a great reason to wake up and start each day!

First appeared in The Stonington, Mystic and Lyme Times, March 2010.

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