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My Next Step

Woman Doing Sit-ups --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisTradition compels us to start the New Year with new resolutions. We have good intentions, but too often they don’t go anywhere.


I resolve to . . . .  Go on a diet,

start an exercise program,

lose 25 lbs. and on and on it goes.


But if you are anything like me, I look back at the many resolutions I have made and most did not come to fruition. Perhaps some effort was put into them, but then they were abandoned.


But why? I think we have a spurt of motivation which evaporated once our regular routines begin again after the holidays. So do we abandon the idea?


Woman filling in a formGoal setting works – most of the time – and when it doesn’t, it’s usually because the goal wasn’t specific enough or realistic enough. If you want to lose 25 lbs in a month without the appropriate dedication and commitment, you will fail. And that brings me to the last point.


It takes more than just immediate motivation – it takes a long term commitment. That commitment must take you beyond two weeks, two months, or a year. It is a commitment to yourself to make your life better because you are the only one who can do that.


It’s not just losing 10 lbs. It’s not just joining a gym. It’s not just dieting. It’s making life style changes that go beyond the little goals. The long term goal here is becoming responsible for your health and putting in place those tiny steps to work towards that goal. It’s an ongoing process.


Businesswoman Writing on White Board and Businessman at TableI don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore, but I do reaffirm my life long goals and the goals I put in place during the year; goals which I have considered carefully.


I am committed to living my values and principles, take charge of my overall health, my behaviors and my attitudes.

I remind myself that I am responsible for what I do with my life.  I can waste time or I can manage it more successfully.  I can sit back in comfort or take a step out and beyond my comfort zone. I am responsible for not taking on more than I can handle.


As I reflect on 2016, I stop and think about the gains I have made. I have made and completed goals. For those that weren’t completed, I ask was it important enough to me? What can I learn from this and what can I give myself credit for. Were my goals realistic?  Did I understand what it would take to reach my goal? We can learn from looking back and evaluating our efforts.  Give yourself credit for trying and the work you did; then ask what you want to do next time.  Perhaps it is fewer goals and more realistic ones.

So among your new resolutions, go back and reflect on your accomplishments.  List even the tiny ones, because it is the tiny steps towards a goal that eventually help us complete our bigger goals.

Happy New Year

Marlene Anderson

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