Resolution 101

Happy New Year!

So it’s that time. Time to come up with a new rule to live our lives by. I always wonder why people set themselves up for failure during this New Year’s resolution process. I mean, are you really going to be able to go throughout the rest of your life without cookies…EVER??? If you answered yes, you are by far a better person than I.

Don’t get me wrong I do understand the emotional connection to a new beginning, ending of the old. Looking forward and reminiscing over the past. But why only one day a year? Why wait until the calendar flips to make changes? I believe that every single day we are given the opportunity to change, to make a difference. Whether it’s ourselves or to help others, we always have the option to do something differently. But for the sake of this blog let’s stick to notion that you are planning on changing something in 2015. Heck, it is a great opportunity to make positive lasting changes in our lives if we do a few simple things.

First and foremost: set yourself up for success. Be sure to have the support system in place to help you achieve your goals. Tell your friends or family members. You’d be surprised how many people try to go it alone. With a support system in place, you’ll be motivated to keep trying and might just convince someone else to try to make healthy changes too. You want to do your first triathlon in 2015? Awesome! Connect to one of the area’s tri-clubs to help you. Find one or two (heck 20 if you can) friends that have similar goals and train together. Training is always more fun with company.

Be realistic in your goals. Don’t expect change to come easily or without its challenges. Be prepared for setbacks and give yourself permission to have a misstep or two, than get right back to it. One wrong turn should not determine your final destination…re-route and get back on track as quickly as possible.

Set short term goals that will help you achieve your long term goals. Planning on eating healthier at home? Try cleaning out your cabinets and refrigerator first. If it’s not in the house you can’t eat it…right? J Then you can work on your grocery shopping or habits when you dine out. Small steps in the right direction might make the process slower but you will still get there and be more likely to succeed. Remember the tortoise and the hare?

Celebrate the wins. Easy, right? No way. Not when you have a million things on the to-do list and you have already planned your next steps. Believe me though, if you don’t take the time to recognize your successes you will forget them later when you really need them to help you get over the next hurdle. No matter how trivial or small the win might be, be sure to give yourself praise for having made the attempt and getting to that goal.

BE SURE IT’S ABOUT YOU. If your heart isn’t in it you won’t succeed. Do it for you! I will admit, this one is difficult for most people. We spend so much time focusing externally, on our kids, parents, co-workers, spouses, friends, etc…that we rarely give ourselves permission to do something good for ourselves. I am here to tell you that if you don’t take care of you, there won’t be a you to take care of others. We are our best undervalued asset. So put the guilt aside and think about yourself. You will thank yourself for the effort later.

As we begin our 120th year serving the Naugatuck and Beacon Falls communities, I would like to wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015.

Be well and see you at the Y.