Set a Goal, Make Time, Be Determined, and Change For Good!
Health-related goals are indeed popular among most people’s New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make a resolution to lose weight, to exercise more, to have better relationships, or to even stop smoking, but for many of us the path to good health is not easy. Procrastination, family obligations, work demands, and lack of time and energy are only a few culprits that can stop the best health resolutions in their tracks.
So, how do you make time to keep your health resolutions? Set a goal, make time, be determined, and change for good! All of us have to stop and make time in our lives to take better care of ourselves. Research shows that stress will eventually wreak havoc on your health including stomach aches, diarrhea, increased appetite, and weight gain.
Constant stress can also compromise the immune system, making people more vulnerable to colds and other infections. The pressure can also aggravate illnesses, produce anxiety and depression, disrupt valuable sleep, decrease sex drive, and raise blood pressure. The list of negative consequences goes on and on. Do not abandon the idea of setting resolutions because you have broken them in the past. Re-adjust them and go for it by incorporating a few suggestions below:
Do not make too many resolutions. There is no rule that you have to cover all areas that you would like to change in your resolutions. Pick one or two themes – such as anger management, stress control, healthy eating, smoking cessation, fitness improvement, or career advancement – the resolutions that are most important to you, and set reachable goals within these areas.
Be realistic. Running a marathon is probably unrealistic for the average person, but it is possible to start exercising before the end of the year. Resolving to stop all of your unhealthy habits at once is likely to fail. Pick a safe, attainable goal with a realistic time frame. For example, if your resolution is to eat healthier, begin by eliminating one unhealthy food from your diet at a time, not ALL unhealthy foods at once.
Do not set resolutions whose success is based upon factors beyond your control. Saying “I will have a new job by summer” depends not only upon your own initiative, but also upon external factors (the economy or the job market) over which you have no control. Instead tell yourself “I resolve to have updated my resume and sent it out to X number of companies by summer.” That way, the success of your resolution is entirely within your control.
Do set resolutions based upon your own wishes, desires, goals, and dreams, and not those of society or those persons close to you. While this seems obvious, many people waste time trying to meet society’s or another people’s expectations. A resolution is bound to fail if it is not from your heart.
Do use the buddy system. Rely on your friends to support your resolutions, and do the same for your friends. Social support can strengthen motivation.
Do plan a reward for yourself when the resolutions or intermediate goals are met.
The National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc. would like to encourage all of you to take time to enjoy your life, spend more time with your family and friends, and to become a healthier and happier you. For more information, contact The National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc. at 202-637-8400 or visit www.ncba-aged.org