Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, 2007 - Resolutions, Really?

Here we are, standing at the threshold of a brand new year. Exciting goals and resolutions stirring within us, eager to get started. Before you buy that case of Slimfast or fork over a thousand dollars for the new piece of gym equipment, stop for a moment and consider your intentions.

Establishing a resolution means you resolve to do something. You establish a goal. You intend to accomplish this goal, don't you? Then let's set our expectations to a more realistic level. We'll add a little logic.

For example, your resolution is to lose weight. Do you know how much weight? Do you even know how much you weigh now? Do you know how much someone your age and size should weigh? All of these are important questions to help you establish a realistic goal. My suggestion is that you make an appointment to see your doctor and discuss your weight issue. Decide together what a realistic weight loss goal is for you and develop a strategy, a plan if you will, that will hold you accountable to your doctor for the weight you want to lose. Learn new eating habits and set up a reasonable exercise regime. Then set small attainable goals for yourself throughout the year.

What other resolutions do you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to contribute more to your community? This can be a double edged sword. The more you contribute to outside activities, the less time you have for personal activities. Before you scan the papers for all the community clubs and start signing up for each one, sit back, take a deep breath, and look at your situation logically.

Evaluate your life as it is now. Write down what you do and the percentage of time you spend on each activity. Then review each one and determine if you can cut some time from any activity and still be happy with your participation. Remember to include work, commuting, house chores, TV time, computer time, and time you spend with your family. If you find some extra time, see where you can best place it during the day. This means, where in your day can you use that extra time? Is it after the kids are in bed? Extra time before you get ready for work in the morning? A longer lunch if you're able? Or did you determine that you could get a couple hours free on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? Whatever the answer, you've now established that you have free time to give to your community. Now, go back to that list of community clubs and volunteer activities and appraise them carefully. Where do you think you could best add value? One you've found a fit, then feel free to volunteer your help. Now you are doing more for your community.

Do you get it now? Arbitrary and vague statements to say you've created your resolutions set you up for failure if you don't have a logical, realistic plan to carry you through to success.

My resolutions? Well, I have a few. They're quite attainable.

1. Love my family
2. Spoil my dog and my parrot
3. Dote on my new grandson
4. Finish my current work in progress manuscript
5. Lose ten pounds by continuing my healthy eating habits and regular exercise
6. Add more friends to my network
7. Vow to never give up chocolate

What? Did you really expect me to give up chocolate? Let's be realistic, okay?

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