“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present” Jim Rohn
Have you ever heard someone say the phrase, “This is a complete lifestyle change”? I hear it all the time coming from fitness and nutrition professionals when they urge their clients to adopt new, healthy ways of living. As we begin the new year, I cannot begin to wonder how many people out there are contemplating their next big lifestyle change. Will you promise to eat right and exercise at least 3 times a week? Do you want to save money to go on an adventure? No matter what the goal is, what will you need to change about your current lifestyle to attain it? As we begin this new year, I decided to explore some common resolutions and give some examples of how these resolutions sometimes require significant lifestyle changes. If you are set on reaching a specific target goal this year plan ahead and be realistic. If you want something bad enough take the necessary steps to make it happen.
WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO GET IT
1. To eat healthy and exercise regularly
As I mentioned earlier, any fitness professional will tell you eating right and exercising regularly are a way of life. When it comes to making this type of resolution for yourself you need to be ready to make significant life changes. The easiest part about this resolution is making it. The hardest part is actually pulling it off. You will need a lot of support from those around you if you wish to truly see change in your health and well-being. Seeking the help of a professional will also help to guide you in the right direction. There are so many fad diets out there that promise you the world in a short amount of time with very little effort. If you are realistic and patient you can make this goal a reality by devising an appropriate workout and nutrition plan. While the first steps towards better health are always the most difficult its important to think of how you will feel when you finally you start seeing the results of your efforts. When your overall energy and physique start improving you will come to realize that the struggle and sacrifice was all worth it.
2. To travel more
Plan a vacation. Go somewhere you have always wanted to go just because. We are always talking about the places we would one day like to visit so just get out there and do it. It’s important that we allow ourselves time to see the world and the great gifts it has to offer us. Taking time to absorb other cultures and sites provides us with an opportunity learn not only about the world around us but about ourselves. Try setting aside $35 a week for the next year. A year from now you will be planning a vacation to remember. Curve your impulse spending, decrease the amount of times you eat out each week, and try to create a weekly or monthly budget for yourself. These small lifestyle changes will help you to reach your larger goal. “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine
3. To try something new
Step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. If you have always been shy about dancing in public, but always wish you could take part at a fun party or event, try taking a dancing lesson. You won’t know if you don’t try. Put yourself out there. Stop drawing conclusions without first making an effort to try something new. Determine what your interests are and find a group that shares those same interests. What’s great about the world is that there is always someone out there that feels the same way you do. Odds are someone is just as nervous or hesitant to put themselves out there. You are never alone when it comes to trying something new. You can find support and encouragement from those around you. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett
4. To break a bad habit
Like the other resolutions listed in this post, breaking a bad habit is yet another example of a resolution that at times may require a significant lifestyle change. It is not easy to change or break a bad habit. One must have a lot of support and above all have a strong will. Once you identify a habit you would like to break its always important to share your goal with people that can serve as a support to you. By sharing your goals with others you can build some accountability for yourself. Friends and loved ones can sponsor you on your journey but they can also help you realize that the change can only come from you. When you struggle with the temptation to return to a bad habit you can look to your support system for words of encouragement. Once you establish a strong support network the next phase of breaking a habit is in your hands alone. Identify strategies to help keep you mind focused on what your life will be like without this habit. Learn to discipline your mind by avoiding situations where you would be tempted to return to a bad habit. When you finally reach a point where you are comfortable being around others who have a similar habit to you, but no longer feel tempted to join them, it then that you will realize you are in control. This resolution takes time, energy, and a strong will. Are you ready to break a bad habit? “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” Buddha
5. To Volunteer
Perform a random act of kindness. See what it feels like to have a positive impact on someone else’s life. While many of us are fortunate to have all the things we want and need, there a great many people who are struggling in one form or another. If you are looking to help people who are less fortunate then yourself, make this year be the year you make a plan and take action. Seek out opportunities to venture into your community and volunteer. There are several websites in every state that will provide you with volunteer opportunities in your local community. These websites are dedicated to helping people who are in need but they need volunteers like you to have an impact. If you are looking for an opportunity to be a part of the solution, find a local volunteer matching websites. These websites are a great starting point if you are looking to make a difference this year.
6. Allow for some “Me time”
Set aside some time in your day to meditate or just be alone with your thoughts. Focus on yourself and clear your mind of any stressors or frustration. Remind yourself daily that you need to take care of yourself. You will be no good to others if you aren’t taking care of your own mental and physical well-being. When feeling tired or overwhelmed… rest. Running on empty never produces positive results. Schedule a massage, get enough sleep, and above all remember that its alright to do things for yourself sometimes. We all could benefit from a little “me time” once in a while.
7. To read more
Whether you like to read for pleasure or to expand your knowledge, set aside some time in your day to cozy up with a good book. There is an endless amount of good literature out there. If you are a lover of reading and aspire to make more time for it this year, challenge yourself to get it done. Make your very own top 10 reading list and give yourself a deadline for completion. “A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” Edward P. Morgan
Ambition In The City