A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU!

Hard to believe, but another whole year has come and gone. It’s time to take stock of how things went for you in 2010 and start planning for 2011.

Even though the focus of this article is usually health and fitness, the same process can apply with other areas, like personal relationships, personal finance, or your work & business. Just follow the same steps.

So let’s talk about your health and fitness. You’ve got to assess the situation. How did you do this past year? How did you feel? What has your doctor said about your health? How are your clothes fitting? The first step to fixing something is to see that something needs to be fixed.

If things went great, and you’re right on track, great! Give yourself a pat on the back. And keep on doing it. If they went the wrong direction, that’s O.K. You can’t change the past—you can only change yourself and try to do better next time.

Once you realize you need to do something about it, it’s time to set some goals for yourself? It’s much more likely you’ll get something done if you write it down, tell people about it, and review your progress from time to time.

That’s why it’s useful to have a “to do list” or goal sheet. It’s a master list of things that are important enough for you to put lots of effort into it. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and not too detailed. Some people carry it in their phone or day planners. Others put it on their refrigerator or the mirror in the bathroom.

Once you have the goals, how are you going to accomplish them? You need a plan of attack. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. If someone’s doing something that’s working, figure out what they’re doing, and do it too.

If you want to be successful at something, it helps to hang around with successful people. Hopefully, some of that success will rub off on you! If nothing else, you’ll be inspired!

After you have a plan, you’ve got to just get started. That’s often the hardest thing to do. It’s easy to keep putting it off. Things will always come up to interfere with your plans.

Getting started might mean calling about information at the YMCA, Curves, or here at Tom’s. It could mean making an appointment to check things out. It’s hard to sign up for something if you can’t even get your butt in the door.

Go with a friend to one of those classes they keep talking about. Or look in the paper for a used treadmill to put in your new fitness room! Or go online and order an exercise ball, some dumbbells and a workout DVD. Start out with trying to walk a mile every day. Then adding some weight machines two or three times a week.

Probably the most important thing is to schedule your training times. Don’t leave it up to chance because things will always come up to frustrate you. Pick a time and stick to it. If you can develop a regular routine, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

Take some measurements of your arm, chest, waist, hips and thigh. Get your current weight and body fat. You might even take a picture in something skimpy. Put that on your bathroom mirror—it might give you lots of motivation. In 12 weeks do it again. I’ll bet you’ll be pretty excited. Good luck, and have a great New Year and a New You!

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