It’s 2017. Think of it as a New Year and a New You. Has the approaching winter season or new year snuck up on you? Thinking it’s too late to change anything now to be ready for winter sports, family gatherings, or new activities or travel? Of course NOT!
If change is a personal goal, look within yourself to find how to make yourself better. It is important to determine why you want to change, what you are striving for, and what your outcome will be when you meet your goal. Follow your heart. Remember not to judge yourself, but instead realize that your goal will make you happy and feel not only accepted but loved. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”.
A goal that may seem minimal is actually very important and attainable. If you set a goal to lose one pound a week you will have lost 52 pounds at year’s end. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars. Since there are 3500 calories in one pound, by cutting 500 calories each day you will lose one pound a week. This would involve small goals such as leaving 25% of food on your plate at every meal. This not only gives you leftovers for the next day but cuts 500 calories a day.
People who are motivated, positive, and have less stress add daily rituals to their routine. Ideas may be as large as joining a gym or as small as taking a 10 minute walk during your break at work, or enjoy the sun outside during lunch. Establish small, simple, habitual changes which will evolve into healthy habits.
Are you one who always feels that you must put others first taking care of their needs? What happens is there is never time for you. It’s OK to put yourself before others and perhaps start your day with a workout. The end result will make you not just physically but also emotionally stronger.
No need to compare yourself to someone else who may have different goals, lifestyle, and motivation. One way to think of it is to do the best you can with what you’ve got. Only compete with yourself. Pat yourself on the back at the end of each day for all your accomplishments no matter how large or small.
If your goal is to help others change, think about how you can make the world better, and how you can share your time and talent with others to help them have a better life. The impact you will have on others is greater than you may even realize. Have you ever put some spare change in a red kettle at Christmas time? The very first time I did I felt proud. Later that day I shared my experience with a few friends, and two of them had done exactly the same thing that day and also for the very first time. We all shared in our delight of taking a new step though how small it may have seemed, and how all three of us felt immense personal triumph for helping others.
Additional ways for internal and external change are to take up a new sport, learn a musical instrument, have fun with puzzles, or volunteer at a neighborhood school or local charity. It’s not only good for the inner you, but also feeds your brain. As we age it is important to keep our brain alive.
Don’t delay in getting started, and the new year will find you feeling better through your accomplishments. Following these tips will effectively help you and others as the world learns to “Be the CHANGE”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lori Pine, MA, is the Programs Director at In Motion Fitness in Chico, California where she supervises the aquatics and fitness departments, directs youth and safety programs, and trains clients of all ages. She has 25+ years of teaching, sports conditioning, and recreation and leisure activity experience in schools, the community, camps, and the fitness industry. Lori has presented on balance training, components of fitness, getting started in exercise, and exercise for cancer patients; produces events, including the Body And Mind conference (B.A.M.); and raises funds annually for the American Cancer Society. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org