Wednesday, January 14, 2015

7 Tips To A New You In The New Year

It's that time of year again, the time of year when most people become reflective on what they have done in the past year and what they would like to accomplish in the next year.  Some people, like myself, like to set goals for what they want to achieve in the New Year.  If you're not one of those people, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try this year.  I'm not talking about a silly New Year's resolution, I'm talking about setting real goals for your life.  A resolution is something that you wish would happen in the New Year, but you never really get serious about it.  On the other hand, a goal should be achievable, measurable, have clear-cut action steps and a time-line to get done.  

  1. Dream BIG, or go home!
    • I'm a firm believer that we are only limited by our imaginations.  Many people fail to reach their goals, let alone set goals, because they can't imagine their lives being any different then they have always been.  An interesting phenomenon about the human experience is that we usually get what we focus our thoughts on.  Don't underestimate the power of visualizing what you want for your life.  Most great athletes spend time visualizing their performances before they ever take the field.  Let me encourage you to take 5-10 minutes each morning to visualize and dream about what you want out of that day, week, month, and year.  If you do this everyday for the next month I guarantee that you will begin to see positive changes in your life.  And remember, aim for the stars and if you land on the moon, you've still done alright. 
  2. Have written goals and someone to keep you accountable!
    • Statistics show that people who have written goals are more likely to achieve a higher level of success.  Take it one step further and have an accountability partner, and nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.  After you have visualized and dreamed about what you want in life, put pen to paper and write down your goals.  Your goals should be broken into life time goals, long term goals, (5-10 years), short-term goals, (months and yearly), and daily goals.  Every morning you should review your long-term goals and set daily goals that are going to help you reach those long-term goals. Review your goals once or twice a day to keep your eye on the prize.  Share your goals and dreams with your spouse or a close friend so that they can keep you accountable.  Periodically have them check you on your progress, this will drastically improve your chances for success.  
  3. Family First
    • A lot of times in life we find ourselves climbing the ladder, but is your ladder leaning against the right wall?  When you're setting your goals for the year, focus on whats most important in your life and that should be your family.  If this was your last year to live, how would you want to be remembered by the ones close to you?  Make sure your family is a priority.  Set goals that are going to strengthen your relationships with your spouse and your children.  Make time each day to talk to your family and really be in the moment when you're together.  
  4. Get Fit
    • It's that time of year again, the time where you ask yourself how you put on so much weight and vow to loose it all.  This is the year, the year you loose the weight and get back in shape, or is it?  Will you go strong for a few weeks and then start sneaking the cookies and cake?  Just a few bites won't hurt, besides, you've been hitting the gym, you deserve a treat.  The reason why so many people fail at their weight loss goals is because they try to go from couch potato to marathon runner in January.  If your activity level has been that of a sloth this past year, than you can't expect to go to the gym once or twice and loose all the weight.  The easiest way to establish a new habit is to make it so simple that you can't fail.  Start off with something easy, like a 15 minute walk around the block.  Once you have that down, step it up.  Just like with all of your other goals, set up a long term, short term, and daily fitness goals.  And just remember, a goal should have a time-line, be measurable, and accountability partners improve results.  There are a lot of great smart phone apps that will help you tract your fitness goals.  You can even share with your friends on social media to help keep you accountable.
  5. You are what you eat
    •  The old saying is true, we really are what we eat.  Our bodies are complex machines that need high octane fuel.  If you're feeding your body junk, than your not going to get the results that you want.  Fortunately, we live in a time when many people are becoming aware of the benefits from eating healthier.  You can see it in the way the entire fast food industry is changing by having healthier menu options.  The American public is demanding healthier food with better ingredients and the marketplace is answering with new and healthier alternatives to yesterdays fast food culture.    If you want to eat healthier and loose weight in the new year, than let me encourage you to change your mindset.  Don't think of food as the enemy to avoid, so you starve yourself.  Rather, think about how you can better feed yourself with healthier options.  When you think about it, we are either fueling our bodies or feeding disease.  
  6. Money
    • Money is just like time, if you don't manage it, it will manage you.  Many people go through life waiting for that big promotion, not realizing that they are in control of their own financial destiny.  Just like with diet, exercise, and anything else in life that you want to achieve, you have to set goals and plan how you want to get there.  Statistics show that individuals with written goals for retirement save more and are more likely to achieve their goals.  It doesn't matter if it's a new car, college, or retirement, figure out how much you're going to need and start making a road map to how you're going to get there.  
  7. Health is the greatest Wealth
    • Health truly is the greatest wealth.  It has been said that we spend our time and health to obtain wealth just to turn around and spend our wealth to buy back health, which rarely works.  The key to living a successful and fulfilling life is to find balance in all the areas of our life.  This year make your health a priority.  Schedule that annual physical with your primary doctor.  Start engineering movement and exercise into your daily life.  Make the changes in your diet that are going to fuel the machine and keep your energy levels high throughout the day.  Take care of your body.  Go see the chiropractor to have your spine and nervous system examined.  Get regular massages.  Incorporate activities, like yoga, Thia Chi, or meditation that are going to help you destress.  You only get one body, so take care of it.  You only have one life to live, so live to the fullest and have no regrets.