Lots of people set goals about their health and happiness and make changes. It's all part of the process of self-discovery.
But deciding on a goal or something that needs changing is the easy part. The hard part is all the work that goes into getting there.
Keeping your eye on the prize is a way to stay focused. Don’t give in to short-term thinking. Recognizing and enjoying small successes is one motivator for people who are trying to stick with a resolution.
Why should health be a priority? Our health should be a priority because we have to live the rest of our life there. So often, we pay more attention to the health of our car than we do to our body — yet the car will probably be with us for less than five years. We use the most expensive oil in the engine and fill the fuel tank with premium, even when fuel prices are high — then we go and trust our personal health to the lowest bidder.
Keeping health a priority can happen in many ways … nutrition, physical activity…taking inspiration from someone or something else also helps with accountability. Know what you want and stick to the plan. Connect with someone who has been down the same road and learn from them. If they accomplished the goal then so can you!
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To reach a goal, it helps to have a plan with specific steps. It also helps to tell your goal to someone you trust — supportive friends and family come in very handy for those times when your willpower's doing a couch potato act.
But do people really make plans and ask for support? Or do they just wing it? One survey says it's a bit of both: 55% of the survey-takers said they made specific plans, but 45% said they just let things happen. And while 49% shared their resolution with someone else, 51% preferred to keep it private. The survey shows that most of you definitely are not quitters.
An impressive 92% of the survey-takers are still on target to meet their goals. What's even more impressive is that more than a third of them say they slipped up but then got back on track again. That's hard to do. When people stray from their goals, it's tempting to give up altogether. But slip-ups are actually part of the learning process. Congratulations to everyone who recognized this!
If you've made a resolution that's a struggle to keep, it can help to focus on the little things that you achieve, rather than thinking about what you've done wrong or when you've slipped up. Most of all, take it easy on yourself. Just take it one day at a time, then a week, then a month — and then it will be a year. Celebrate what you want to see more of!
Happiness is a choice and should be a daily priority. When you get up in the morning, you can choose to be happy and enjoy the day or you can choose to be unhappy and go around with a sour attitude. It’s up to you. If you make the mistake of allowing your circumstances to dictate your happiness, then you risk missing out on an abundant life.
Even if you are facing tough times, being unhappy won’t change anything for the better. You might as well choose to be happy and enjoy your life!
What if you focus on having a grateful attitude, not sweating the small stuff, not worrying about the things you can’t change, appreciating today, and smiling for your health. It is a scientific fast that if you go through life in a negative frame of mind your immune system will weaken, making you more susceptible to sickness and disease. One of the healthiest things you can do is learn to smile (with teeth) more often.
Here’s to your health,
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.