Manic Monday ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!!!

What a day to start the New Year....MONDAY! As the holidays are coming to an end, there is a new focus on getting healthy for most Americans. Although it seems like the same old cycle of making resolutions and going full force with every intention of sticking with them, most people throw in the towel by February. There are those people who do make it past February and in my experience, those are the individuals who were mentally prepared!

Resolutions. It's merely words unless you do some deep preparation and planning. The first crucial step in making resolutions successful long term is to be mentally prepared. This means a "soul searching" type of preparation. An individual needs to tap into the heart of why these resolutions need to happen and what it will take to succeed. This includes analyzing personal barriers such as physical limitations, stress, time, and motivation levels. I usually can ask a client these three questions to really see how prepared they are:

Do you have a deep DESIRE to change?

Do you have what it takes to be DEDICATED to follow through?

Do you have the DETERMINATION to make it happen?

You may have all the desire in the world to lose weight, but without the effort and determination....you don't win. What it boils down to is that you have to want this change so intensely that you will do what it takes to get to your goal even when the odds are against you. Because friends, in this day and age we are bombarded with all kinds of barriers! Americans are super busy, love convenience, and can easily fall to relying on other crutches of satisfaction. You HAVE to identify these facts in your life. They are real. And in true reality, there is no safe and healthy quick, convenient, luxurious way to reach goals. It takes PURE raw work and effort. BUT, the reward is GREAT. Thus, making a wonderful goal to focus on through the difficult journey of change.

So, on THIS New Year Day, sit down with a pen and journal. Thoughtfully write out your desires (goals). Analyze why these goals are so important and how they will change your life when you reach them. Next analyze and journal the reasons why you are in your current status of health. What happened over the course of time that brought you to where you are today. How can you remove the ways or reactions that produced your current lifestyle. Next, thoughtfully write out a realistic timeline in which you can achieve these goals. Remember, fast and convenience is not long term effective. I usually tell clients 6-12 month goals are realistic for a " forever" lifestyle change. But, I also chart benchmarks for each month which progress towards the overall goal. These goals might include weight loss. Maybe someone wants to lose 20 pounds. This is doable in 6 months. A goal of 50 lbs is better to be laid out in a 9-12 month timespan. An individual who wants to add a marathon race to be checked off of their bucket list can start a training program now and run the September Quad Cities Marathon, but not next month. These are realistic timelines that set one up for success not failure....failures like: "I didn't loose the 5 pounds I wanted to this week---This eating clean plan doesn't work." MOST healthy programs work in time....BUT NOT in two weeks! Be mentally prepared with adequate time frames and be patient as you continue to work!

Next, how dedicated are you going to be in achieving your desired goals? I will give you a good analogy here: If you are going to only be "half" dedicated..... Then you will get only "half" of your desired results in the given timeline. A savings account is an awesome analogy. It resembles our lifestyle journey in a way. And in this case it works in reverse but in the same manner as is the effort required to achieve the goal. Let's say I make a resolution of saving $5,000 this year. I desire this because I want to be stress free with my finances and have a safety net. Good enough desire...maybe it's saving for a car or down payment for a home...in any case a desire. So I have a plan to reduce spending in various ways and I come up with lifestyle changes that may include no frivolous spending, less eating out, giving up a Starbucks specialty latte everyday, forfeit the expensive brands of food or merchandise, etc. So, my plan is in place to specifically save money. But, let's say summer hits. We are on the run with our kids and baseball tournaments most weekends. If I lack the preparation for our weekends (packing a cooler for my family, etc), I'm going to end up succumbing to expensive concession food and fast food on the way home. I know this all too well and it can turn into a $40-$50 a day deal versus a $10 cooler set up. Multiply that by 10-20 days of tournaments throughout summer. I just lost out in saving a big chunk of money towards my goal.... And it's sad because I worked so hard with every other aspect but fell hard when I decided not to be prepared. So we need to be dedicated!! Dedication includes planning and preparation.

And there is determination. In the example I just used, there is a part of us that wants to take the easy way. Sure, it's much easier to leave my house without having to prepare a full days worth of food for a cooler at the ball game. Sure, it's easier to just have the kids get their fill at the concession stand. Sure it's easier to go through McDonalds for dinner. BUT there's a price to pay....literally! Same goes with health! Sure, it's easier to stay home from the gym. Sure it's easier to fix and eat that frozen pizza. Sure it's easier to not have to think about what goes into your mouth. BUT, there's a price to pay! And in the long run that price will be the quality of life. So, be determined to bypass the "easy' route. Be determined to work while knowing there is great reward in this hard work. Your attitude can change your perspective on work!

So, in this Year of 2018, may you take on true desires to change, a spirit of dedication, and the power of determination!

HAPPY NEW YOU!

May the Lord bless you this year!

~Rachel Zimmerman

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