Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year and New You?

I'm not really a believer in New Year's Resolutions in general, but this year I think I'll just spin the concept into a form that I think works.

What works? Well, read some of the stuff in the previous posts about figuring out what you'd like to change, why, and how to fit it into your life. Simple, right?

I don't think it's simple when you just look at the big picture or the overall goals, but I do think there's a way to do it that helps it feel easier.

Why not make a plan for the whole year?

What do you want to accomplish by the end of 2009? Weight loss? Quit smoking? Drink less alcohol? Manage your stress better?

Determine what you want to change, and then set a specific goal. The easiest way for this to work is to use numbers---then its more easily measured at the end.

Next, chop the year up into sections, and set mini-goals for each section.

The last part (for now) is to look at your first mini-section goal and make a plan on how to reach it.

Let's say you decided you want to lose 35 pounds in 2009. That's a big goal, right? Now let's chop up the year into mini-sections, or in this case, months. You have 12 to work with.

Take mini-section 1 (January), and break down what you need to accomplish in order to be on track with your overall goal. 35 pounds in 12 months means you'll need to lose 4 pounds in 1 month. Each week you'll need to lose a pound. So your plan will address how to lose one pound per week, or decrease your caloric balance by 3500 calories (3500 cal=1 pound fat).

It doesn't seem so bad when you set mini-goals, does it?

The word for this year is patience. Normally, we (Americans) have no patience. If we decide we need to lose 35 pounds, we want to do it NOW. But why? Won't it be easier and more realistic (and more likely to stick) if we give ourselves a year?

Start with the steps above, and then if you need help with your mini-goals, ask for help!

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