Healthy Lifestyle - Creating Personal Goals
Our health and happiness is determined by a combination of factors that believe it or not we do have control over. We can make choices about what and how much we eat; whether we will go out for a walk or sit and watch television; how much sleep we get; and how we respond to people and situations around us. We can choose to make small gradual changes toward a healthy lifestyle.
So what is a healthy lifestyle? It includes many factors that involve the blending of body, mind and spirit. It includes realizing that how we feel really does matter and that a stress free life (or near stress free) includes being at peace with ourselves and learning to prioritize our personal and professional lives in order to live life at its fullest. It may include spending more time with family, taking vacations, making time to read a good book, or to go to the park. For some it may include simplifying and/or paring down, in other words getting rid of stuff! Stuff that maybe has sat in our closets untouched for longer than we care to think about. For many of us the stress free life includes learning to allow certain feelings of stress, anger, and resentment to not bother us.
Donít try to make too many changes at a time because that can cause you to be frustrated and/or overwhelmed and set you up for failure. Pick one thing to work on and remember you are creating a lifestyle that you can live with forever and not for a quick fix. Donít look at this as a New Years resolution. How many times have you began a New Years resolution and continued it for more that a month? Make changes you can stick with forever. We are creatures of habit but habits can be changed.
So how can you develop a healthy lifestyle? You may already know what area/areas of your life you would like to change but are not sure how to make changes. In this case choose one area and list five things to start working on.
Create Your Lifestyle Plan of Action - long term goals
I. List 3 areas (long term goals) of your life you would like to make changes (i.e. diet, exercise, stress level, drink more water, etc.)
II. Pick the one long term goal listed above you would to focus on first.*
The area I will focus on first is_________________________.
III. List 5 short term goals relating to the area you want to focus on (i.e. Diet: 1. eat less sugar, 2. eat more fruits and vegetables, 3. eat less junk food, etc)
IV. Pick one of these short term goals to work on over the next 3 weeks. Allow at least 3 weeks (21 days) because that is how long it takes to create a new habit. Your goal is to create a lifestyle of healthy habits you can continue for a lifetime.
The short term goal I will begin to work on is __________________.
Decide What Specific Points To Work On - short term goals
So you know what long term goal you want to work on but are not sure what short term goal to focus on? Well, read on through this web site for more ideas relating to many different topics that are important for healthy lifestyles.
What should you do if you know you need to make changes because your life is out of control but you do not know where to start? Answer these simple questions to help assess your lifestyle.
1. Do I feel good about life? Do I wake up feeling invigorated every morning?
Maybe you need more sleep or need to look at your life stressors
2. Is my health good?
Do you need to make a doctors appointment or consider other complementary care techniques or practitioners.
3. Do I eat a healthy and varied diet from all food groups?
This is where you get out that food guide pyramid and make sure you are eating from all those food groups including 5 A Day (five servings of fruits and vegetables combined daily).
4. Do I get some form of exercise/activity at least 3 times each week?
Are you moving your body on a regular basis? It will do wonders for your state of mind as well as burning those extra calories.
5. Is my weight within an appropriate range for height/age/body build?
By developing healthy lifestyle habits your body weight will gradually normalize to what is appropriate for you. Diet, exercise, and stress free living all contribute to appropriate body weight.
See section titled ___.
If you answered NO to any of these questions that may be a trigger to help you decide what long term goals you may choose to work on (list I and II) then go to list III and IV to decide the short term goals you choose to start working on.
Please feel free to move through this web site for more ideas and information as you begin or continue your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Also be sure to visit the Resource List and Links to other wellness topics.
Remember do not try to make too many changes at one time. And don't forget to take time to enjoy life and to share it with those you love.
This information is not intended to replace medical treatment. Please consult your physician for specific medical problems and before beginning a diet and exercise program.
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Last modified: 24 January, 2003