PL 9 goals

 

The New Year always brings such hope and excitement.  Change is imminent and all things are possible.  Suddenly you visualize achieving all those goals you have been dreaming of for years and know THIS is the year you are going to do it!  You are going to quit smoking, lose 20 lbs, find a new job and meet the person of your dreams.  For the first few days, or even few weeks you are on fire!  You get on a new health regimen, successfully stop smoking and even fill out an online dating profile!  Things are definitely looking up.

Suddenly, you hit a snag.  You get fired, have a fight with someone or you have a particularly trying day and you decide that you really need a cigarette.  Who could blame you? You deserve it!  You decide not to work out because you are just too stressed out.  Since you are not working out anyway, why not have that big piece of chocolate cake you have been eyeing for the last 3 days?  You have not applied to any other job because you need to fix up your resume and no one is really hiring this early in the New Year, maybe they’ll be looking in the spring…yes, you should wait until the spring when things feel fresh and exciting again.  The same goes for your online dating profile.  You have decided to wait because you want to get things in order with your life before looking for that right person.  I mean, how can you begin dating until you find that new job, quit smoking and lose that extra weight?!

Depriving yourself or doing too much at once will ultimately set you up to fail.  Be patient with yourself and follow a realistic plan to see results.

Depriving yourself or doing too much at once will ultimately set you up to fail. Be patient with yourself and follow a realistic plan to see results.

 

There are several reasons to keep things status quo.  Change is scary.  Moving outside of your comfort zone is frightening.  What if you do not succeed?  What if it does not make any difference in your life?  What if you are still miserable and you suffered through all the sacrifice that comes with change?  When you take the time to do things differently, things WILL change and keep moving forward and that is never a bad thing.  You have to decide what is important to you and whether or not you are worth the investment.

Instead of having a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions adding unrealistic expectations to the already challenging endeavor of imparting real change in your life, I propose you select just one.  With several objectives, it is hard to stay focused and clearly visualize your path because there are so many different aspects to your success.  Zoning in on just one thing will make it easier to establish a plan that produces results.  Take an honest look at yourself and prioritize.  Figure out which goal is most important and will have the biggest impact on your life.  If the first thing on your list is to take care of your health, then that should be your only focus this year.

Once you have decided what to focus on, you can break it down into smaller, doable steps for each month and even each week.  In order to successfully achieve any type of change in your life, you must take small steps and give yourself enough time to realistically implement new habits.  For example, if you decide that you must make your health a priority this year, pick a specific goal such as “I want to lose 20 lbs by Dec. 31 2014” and then break it down into smaller tasks.  Make a list of all the things that you can do to help you achieve that goal.  In this case you may add such things as make healthier food choices, increase physical activity and reduce sugar intake.  Do not start doing everything at once.  In order for you to break an old habit, you need to slowly introduce a new one and remember that takes 21 days to implement successfully.  Start small.  Evaluate what you are eating and drinking and what kind of physical activity you are doing so that you may introduce slow but effective changes to your lifestyle.  You can start by cutting out soda.  Begin with replacing one a day with either sparkling or plain water for one week.  Then try replacing two sodas a day, for another week.  If that seems like too much, take it slower.  Make it an easy pace to ensure success.  Break down each step and decide what is doable and stick to the plan.  Once you have eradicated soda from your diet, try reducing sugar intake.  First, you may cut it out of your morning coffee or have one less dessert a week or reduce the amount of chocolate you eat.  If you don’t like the idea of eliminating, then begin adding physical activity.  If you are currently not active, start by walking once a week for 10 minutes.  Gradually increase the time you walk and then add days based on a realistic plan that works with your lifestyle and schedule.   If you have a bad day or week, continue from your last successful point and repeat it until you are ready to move on.  Don’t give up!  That is why this should be the only goal for the rest of the year.  You need to give yourself time to accomplish the goal while allowing the new regimen to become a regular part of your lifestyle.  When you are trying to quit smoking or improve your health, doing it successfully for a couple of weeks does not mean you have completely achieved your objective.  You should give yourself time to really establish your new habits to make sure they are truly part of your life before moving on to the next goal.

PL 9 Doable

Taking things at a slow and easy pace will allow you to implement real change.

 

In the event that you do attain success before the year is up, you can then start to take the same approach with a new goal or you can just enjoy the fact that you accomplished what you set out to do for 2014 and start thinking about what you want to do next year!

Good luck on achieving all of your endeavors for the New Year!!

 

 

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