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McGoff: It is a new year, start creating a new 'you'

Sharon McGoff
January 2, 2013
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mcgoffEach year, as Jan. 1 approaches and we gaze in the mirror at the after effects of the holidays … dark circles under our eyes, too many cookies and an over-abundance of cocktail parties, we set our sights on resolutions. We vow that “this time” we are going to do it! However, the statistics show that over 80 percent of us who set New Year’s resolutions will fail. This year, don’t be among the 80 percent. This year, set your New Year’s goal so that you can and will attain it.

The top three reasons New Year’s resolutions fail:

1. You were over-zealous with your resolutions and what you could conceivably accomplish.

2. You didn’t write your goals down on paper or tell anyone.

3. You got discouraged when you didn’t see immediate results.

The top three resolutions:

1. Lose weight

2. Exercise

3. De-stress

Often, these goals go hand-in-hand: we resolve to lose weight, begin an exercise program, and live a stress-free life. Taking on any one of these goals is challenging, but to tackle all three of them at once, in the dead of winter’s dreary, dark days, is a set up for failure. Add to this the fact that most of our goals are unreasonable, i.e. losing 10 lbs a week; exercising every day for an hour when you haven’t exercised since high school; never eating dessert or fast food again; sleeping eight hours a night when you typically get five hours of sleep. Can you see how failure is imminent? The goals are over-zealous in the time frame that we want to see results.

This year, do something different with making your resolutions:

1. Choose one resolution.

2. Set small, simple and attainable goals.

3. Change your goals along the way.

Choose one resolution. If you decide your resolution is to lose weight through changing your eating habits, don’t think of it as a “diet.” That four-letter word brings with it thoughts of deprivation, inevitably setting you up for failure because you can’t live the rest of your life without dessert or fast food! “Diets” also mean counting calories and weighing in, neither of which is enjoyable and can be very time-consuming. Instead, keep it simple: Strive to eat a majority of your food as unprocessed as possible. For instance, an apple is unprocessed. Applesauce with sugar, cinnamon flavor and red food coloring turns this unprocessed apple into a processed food. All you have to think about each time you eat something is ‘how far away is it from its natural state’ and make a valiant effort to eat as unprocessed as possible. No need to count calories or step on the dreaded scale. If this goal is too high to achieve on a daily basis, change it and eat as unprocessed as possible three days a week.

If your resolution is to begin an exercise program, be realistic and simple. There is no need to join a gym or buy expensive exercise equipment. In past years, you joined the gym, exercised one hour every day, and became exhausted or injured. After a few weeks, you stopped going to the gym but still paid for the membership. This year, make it simple. Set small, attainable goals for the first month and slowly increase your goal. For instance, vow to exercise 10 minutes a day at home before work (or after work). If you need a list of exercises to do at home without equipment or with a few inexpensive weights or bands, Google it or send me an email and I will give you ideas to get started. If three days a week was too much for you, exercise two days a week. After a month or two of slowly building up your exercise time, you might decide to set a new goal to join a gym or buy a treadmill to use at home.

Maybe the resolution you need the most is to de-stress your life. Don’t we all need this? Start simple and progress as you attain each goal. If you know you get stressed because you are sleep deprived and you need eight hours of sleep a night, resolve to sleep an extra 15 minutes a night for the first few weeks instead of tackling the lofty goal of saying, “I’m going to sleep eight hours every night, starting tonight.” If that means you have to start by adding an extra five minutes of sleep to begin, so be it. Eventually, step by slow step, you will reach your ultimate goal of getting eight hours of sleep a night.

No matter which small, attainable, simple goal you set, be patient with seeing results. You didn’t get into “this” situation overnight and it will take more than overnight to see results. Take comfort in knowing the changes you make are slowly but surely doing great things for your body and mind. This year, do something different. … don’t be one of the 80 percent!•

__________

Sharon McGoff is a graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a certified personal trainer and health fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified life and wellness coach with WellCoaches, Inc. She welcomes your questions or comments at Smcgoff@comcast.net. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
 

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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