Think back for a minute and remember January. Can you remember where you were on New Year’s Day, thinking about the year ahead and what you envisioned for yourself? Whether you call it a resolution, a goal, or a fool’s errand, many of us can’t help but greet the new year without some kind of project for ourselves. Did you have one?
I did. I began 2019 with a commitment for better self-care and slowing down the pace of my life, because I was tired of hearing myself complain about how busy I was. Now that we’re here at the beginning of September, I can look back and see the ways that I have incorporated that into my life and look ahead to ensure I can continue my new habits.
If you want to do the same, in the spirit of football season kicking off this weekend, here’s how you can make a game plan.
Prepare Your Offense
Nine months have passed since you first had this idea, so do a gut-check on how important the goal is to you. It’s okay to let go of a plan if something that felt urgent in January isn’t a priority anymore. Think about what does feel urgent, and whether you want to pursue it. You have the ball.
Then, plan the offense by determining what needs to happen on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis to have achieved the outcome by the end of the year. For an extra point, do the first thing today.
Be Strong on Defense
Even with a smart and solid offense, a strong defense protects that plan. If your goal was easy to achieve, you would have done it by now. It’s likely that there is some reason you haven’t, and you probably already know what it is because you come face-to-face with it every day. Examine that reason, look for it’s weaknesses, and tackle them.
To do this, be ready with positive reasons why you are making a change and firm responses to that couch potato in your head. Keep victory in your sights, and stay excited about how it will feel to have created your new habit or reached your milestone.
Be Ready for an Interception
Of course, there will be times when none of that works, and you get intercepted. It happens, even to the pros. When you realize you screwed up, do what any champion does: figure out where your weakness was, patch it up, and get back into the game a little more alert and aware. Setbacks happen, but winners don’t make the same mistakes often.
I don’t care what the ref says, when you are able to make positive changes in the stubborn, over-scheduled lives we live, that deserves a victory dance. Celebration is important, because living healthfully should be rewarding and fun, and the more often you are able to connect healthy living with a sense of achievement and reward, the more likely you are to repeat the process. Give yourself every compliment in the book. Don’t hold back! You deserve to feel like an MVP when you do push yourself to the next level.
Have I used enough football analogies to make my point? You have everything it takes to be a winner this year, even if you aren’t coming into the season with a perfect record. It’s a new season now, and all of the polls predict that you have what it takes to be undefeated.
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About This Blog
Each week, I write the "Healthy Heather Blog" in the Tallahassee Democrat. It is republished here in case you are not a subscriber (what???). Sometimes it is really good and other times it is just okay. Thanks for reading it regardless of your opinion!