We cannot hope to live the lives we want to, or attain the health we need, on accident. It must be on purpose. It must be with a vision. To have a vision means to have hope.
By Shane Reynolds
As I approached mid-life this past year, I needed to change some bad habits I had acquired over the past 35 years. I was determined to lose weight and improve my health through better nutrition. The first thing I did was contact a few close friends who kept themselves in great shape through their mid-lives. For me, this was a big help as I leaned on them for support, ideas and direction.
Setting goals is one of the most powerful ways to create real change in our lives. Although I did not achieve my goal by my birthday in October, I am not giving up. To date I’ve lost 23 pounds and, as my daughter Penelope reminds me, that’s a bag of birdseed. I have another half bag of birdseed to go to reach my goal by the year’s end.
Here are a few ways to set yourself up for success in 2019.
1. Review the past year
We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been. Take time to review the past year — the mistakes, the accomplishments. What worked? What didn’t? Did you achieve your fitness goals? If not, what can you do differently this time? If yes, can you do that again this year?
2. Set real goals
Goals are one of the most powerful ways to change our lives. Let’s define what a real goal is:
• It has a deadline • It is specific • It is attainable
• It must be measurable (how will you know when you have completed it?)
For example, “Lose weight” or “Eat better” are NOT goals. Those are wishes, and more than likely will not happen. Instead, be specific like “Run one mile twice a week” or “Create a meal plan every Sunday using more fruits and vegetables.” Those are real goals. They are action steps. That is where the power is.
3. Dream big
This year, small thinking is not allowed. We need to think and dream BIG. Bigger than we ever have. Bigger than we have the faith for. One of my biggest dreams and reasons for wanting to be healthier is to be able to spend quality time with my kids as they grow into adults, and also be around for my grandkids. I want to teach them all about the ways of the woods!
4. Be consistent + flexible
Consistency is what sets the winners apart from the losers, the wealthy from the poor, the influential from the voiceless. If we don’t have consistency in our lives, and the maturity to be consistent in any endeavor, then chances are high that we won’t get anywhere good anytime soon. This has been the most difficult part for me in 2018. However, if in June it becomes clear that you need to alter a certain goal, you need to have the flexibility to divert our attention and energy elsewhere.
5. Get to work
You have much to do. Think beyond just one year. Think in terms of five years, 10 years, 30 years from today. And then go to work on what is in front of you today. Dream about the future, but work in the present, and please, be present in today.
One more suggestion: Be careful through the holiday season that is upon us!
Shane Reynolds is the Outdoor Recreation Director at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at 210.616.6051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.