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2020 could be your year. This could be the year that you do 'that thing' you've always wanted to, you could make some life long changes and be the best version of yourself. You just need to make a plan. If you write down all of your resolutions, but don't make a plan this new decade will be the same as the last one. When you're setting your goals for the new year, think of some long term goals and habits you would like to change as well as some short term goals that can improve your daily life. We live our lives one day at a time, so why only make goals that you look back at a year later. You have 366 chances this year to improve yourself.

We should look more closely at goal setting. Goals need to be specific and achievable. You need a way of measuring progress. Give yourself a realistic amount of time each week to work on this goal. It also tends to be more motivating if you have a time frame that you would like to achieve the goal in.

Let's start with an example goal/resolution : I want to be healthier.

What does that mean exactly? This goal is really just a statement, so let's try and break it down. Traditionally we think of health as an objective state in which the body is functioning, ranging. You're either functioning at a high level (optimal wellbeing - no negative signs or symptoms) to moderate compromise (transition zone – fatigue, mood disorder, heart disease) to poor health / pathology (heart attack, diabetes, cancer). A better definition of health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well – being ; not merely the absence of disease. So let's focus on one aspect of health, the physical well being.

Our example goal : I want to be more physically active.

This is still more of a statement than a goal. Try answering these questions to help you pick a more focused goal.

1) How active are you now? This is a great place to start, knowing where you're at currently can help you make realistic changes. Most importantly be honest! Think about the last 3-5 days. How many hours are you sitting versus moving? How many planned workouts have you done?

2) Do you have any goals you have been working on? Have you started going for walks or runs? Do you have a fitness goal that you want to accomplish (doing a sit up, running a 5k, exercising a certain number of times each week, losing weight, etc).

4) What is something that you think would actually make you feel better?

Things that won't improve your health or make you feel better : skinny teas, crash/fad diets, scrolling through instagram, sitting on the couch and waiting for everything to magically come together.

Once you have answered these questions choose an area to improve on. If you choose to increase your activity levels go through your week and see where you can add more physical activity, more walks, more group classes, a personal training session, etc. How much time do you have to dedicate to this goal?

Maybe you have a clear goal of running a 5k, there are so many tools out there to help get you started with consistent training for a run. If you need help structuring your week there are couch to 5k plans where you can start from never running and progress to a 5k.

What is something that will make you feel better, this can be a visual (fitting into an old pair of jeans) or mental thing (meditate more). It can also be something that affects your daily life (decrease low back pain). Those are three very different wants, but they all require you to really focus on what you want to improve and how that will help you feel better.

Get Focused. Start Small. Make a Plan. Be Consistent.


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