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Look back but move forward

January 6, 2014
Shepherdstown Chronicle

Stepping into 2014 is certainly a time for reflection over the past year; however, rather than dwell on the past, we must look ahead to what the new year holds.

While it is the time for those recurring resolutions, we need to remember to be realistic in our goals so that there is not major disappointment in the coming weeks.

Most of us replay the same get more exercise, eat healthier, lose weight banter as we head out of the holidays and into January. Even writing it makes it sound like a burden.

There has to be a way to make changes that are not so overwhelming and make the process fun. Life changes, rather than diet plans are what we need. Vow to make little changes rather than stress over unrealistic resolutions. There are many resources and suggestions available to help you succeed. But top of the list is the desire to actually make a change. Then, again, take small steps.

Accountability for proposed change is also a necessity. Find a friend who has the same goals as you and partner up, whether it be for exercise, volunteering, praying or any other activity you want to increase or change. If you don't have a partner, get a journal. Writing things down is another way to be held accountable for your actions.

Keep a food journal if you are trying to change your eating habits. Keep a record of your exercise and workouts if you hope to increase those in 2014. Create a savings plan and write down your progress. Seeing it in black and white helps make it reality.

In scanning the internet over the past few days, I have found many helpful suggestions on how to accomplish some changes in the coming year, including some I have included here.

If saving some money is a goal with you (and isn't it with all of us?), go to your bank and open a Christmas Club if that is offered. Or set up a special savings account and put some in each week. There was a cute "52 Week Money Challenge" floating around on Facebook this week and I printed it off and have posted it over my desk. To save over $1,300 in the upcoming year, I plan to follow this little chart by saving the corresponding amount per week. For the first week, that is only $1. For the 10th week if the year, that's $10; for the 20th week, $20 and so on up to the 52nd week of the year where the amount to be saved is $52. Don't know who thinks up these things, but the novelty of it makes it a challenge that will be easy to do (I hope).

For changes in food consumption, there are all sorts of tips and tricks. I love the suggestion to eat off of smaller plates. Even if you fill your plate, you still get less. Planning menus at least a week at a time is also a great idea. Get a calendar just for menus; then get out your cookbooks and plan ahead. Make shopping lists and commit to only buying what's on the list. And remember, never go to the store hungry!

There are so many other areas in which to make plans for 2014. Remember birthdays and anniversaries by adding them to a calendar. Buy cards and stamps in bulk and sign and prepare in advance and drop in the mail at the beginning of each month.

Schedule date nights with your spouse or significant other and relax! Make 2014 a year to treasure and enjoy rather than rush through and forget.

 
 

 

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