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For me, the beginning of a new year seems like the natural time to look ahead and set new goals.  I was surprised recently when I asked a few people about what they planned for their New Year’s Resolutions and the reply I got from both of them was, “I don’t do New Year’s resolutions!”.  It really got me thinking about why someone might be intimidated by the idea of setting some New Year’s Resolutions since to me its nothing different then goal setting which is essential to success in all aspects of life.  But then it occurred to me that most people claim to set resolutions because they speak them out loud but without a concrete plan as to how they will meet those goals they go year after year failing to meet their New Year’s Resolution thereby feeling like a failure and refusing to set new resolutions in the future.

Although you can set “resolutions” anytime during the year, the beginning of the year is a great time because symbolically we are looking forward and hoping for new beginnings and a better life.  Often times we reflect back on how the past year went and don’t see any accomplishments or not the ones we were proclaiming 12 months earlier.  I see this pattern with my clients that can’t lose weight year after year and I believe that the missing element is not that they did or didn’t set a resolution, its the fact that they did not have a concrete plan as to how to make those goals happen.  Telling yourself year after year that “this is the year I will workout, lose weight, eat out less, etc” is nothing more then words if you continue to do everything the same.  Actually, Einstein put it perfectly when he said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  What makes this year any different then last year if you just proclaim your resolutions but don’t have a plan on how to meet the goal?  It’s insane right?

So this year, why not stop the insanity?   As you begin 2012 take the time to sit down and write your goals on paper.  Do you want to lose weight?  Are you looking to increase your finances?  Do you want to improve your marriage?  Once you declare your goals for the year, write down a plan on how to meet these goals.  So if your goal is to exercise more this year you need to write down a plan on how that will happen.  When will you do it?  Do you need to get up earlier or come home earlier in order to meet this goal?  Once you determine how to meet the goal, your next step is to get out your day-timer or calendar and pencil in the time allotted to your plan.  If your plan is to start working out in the morning then write it on your schedule and treat it as important as any other appointment or engagement.  Go through this process with each of your goals making sure they are realistic and the plan can be carried out.  Setting unrealistic goals is only going to set you up for failure.

So as we welcome 2012, take the time to set some New Year’s Resolutions and develop your plan to meet these goals.  Let 2012 be the year you stopped the insanity!  Next year at this time you will be grateful to look back at your accomplishments and celebrate the ending of a great year!

May 2012 bring you and your family great health, wealth, love and happiness!

Are you looking to change your diet? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you're ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!

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