It’s about that time again — the start of a new Year and people the world over are making resolutions to change their lives for the better.
Will you be among their ranks?
I personally love this time of the year. I spend the last couple of weeks in reflection; what worked, what didn’t, where am I and where am I going on my journey.
Am I headed in the right direction and doing what’s necessary to get there? What do I need to change?
I love making lists and resolutions and while they don’t all get accomplished, I see improvement each year going forward having learned from the many mistakes I have made in my lifetime — albeit a little late sometimes.
But we are all vastly different in what motivates us and prompts us to improve and I will be the first to admit this does not work for everyone and sets a fair amount of people up for failure each year. Having been in the fitness arena for almost 20 years I have seen it firsthand. At the first of the year they come into the gym in droves with good intentions and goals of losing weight and improving fitness. While millions everywhere make these resolutions most do not stick with it. Why? Partly due to unrealistic goals and going in blind but mainly lack of commitment and motivation to do what it takes (i.e. the work).
A recent article in the Tampa Tribune stated that “70% of people now turning 65 will need long term care at some point in their lives”. Now there’s some motivation for you!
What is the reason for this sobering statistic —genetics or bad luck from an unfortunate accident? Perhaps but I’d be willing to bet it’s for less than 10% and that is being generous. For the other 90% + it is from poor lifestyle choices in food and inactivity over the decades. Prevention is the key here; while we cannot always control our destiny we can control what we put in out mouths and the activities that we do or do not do. It is often that simple. And it is usually cumulative.
I am well aware of the fact that most people’s goals are not to land on the cover of a fitness magazine or make their living in sport but eating right and getting some exercise is paramount to quality of life.
So the main focus of this article will not be on diet and exercise. There have been enough articles on how to get started on this blog. See last year’s New Year’s Tips. You only have to look to find out what to do. You can and you should. Your mantra if you need one–“I can and I will”.
Taking diet and exercise out of the picture what are some other areas we could look to for “resolutions” or making improvement in our lives?
The environment. It’s degrading faster than food left out on the porch in Florida in August. What can we do to slow this process? Recycle all your plastic, aluminum, glass and old wire hangers, wash your clothes in cold or warm water, use cloth diapers, buy local when possible, turn off lights and computers when not in use, stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online, use rechargeable batteries and the list goes on and on. Try to make at least a few improvements in this area.
Conquer Fear. What are you afraid of and why? Is the fear of failure holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams? Acknowledge and analyze your fear, imagine the outcome and change you desire and set several small goals to reach for. Take control of that fear by direct confrontation but in a gradual manner. Change the way you think about your fear by making it a source of fascination, see it as an opportunity and learn all you can about it. You will not eliminate all fear, it is a natural emotion. If you are deathly afraid of snakes you may not need to overcome that fear, only the ones that are limiting your life. Tackle it head on this year and celebrate the victories. In the words of Nike “strike fear or get struck”.
Improve organizational skills. If you find yourself in a pool of clutter with piles of papers stacked all over your workspace it will not be conducive to success. You can’t think clearly with the disarray. Rid yourself of what is unnecessary by using your wastebasket often (toss, file or act). Manage your to-do lists effectively by prioritizing and delegating when appropriate.
Stay on one task until finished; if you get interrupted go back to it. Have a system for keeping track of names and telephone numbers, create a simple filing system and manage your time in meetings, on the telephone and avoid idle chit chat. Answer emails and correspondences only twice a day, schedule meetings or appointments once a day or in a row so you have minimal interruptions. Keep a day timer and at the end of the day check it for the first task of tomorrow and see if there is any advance preparation necessary. These skills will go a long way in reducing the stress of your day to day activities and work equally well for stay at home moms. Run your home like a business.
Have I inspired you or angered you? Both are productive because they are powerful motivating forces for change. Improve your life this year by eating right, exercising, deciding what is important to you and taking action to achieve it, conquering fears, organizing your life and doing your part to help better the environment. These actions will create a better 2014 for you and those around you.
Happy New Year!
About the Author
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar. Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results.
You can connect with her on Facebook by clicking here.