It’s the end of January – the daylight is short, the streets are muddy, and the resolutions are dropping like
flies. By now, many of us have exchanged our bright and shiny New Year’s goals for a lack-luster business as
usual. We’ve gone back to work after the excitement of the holidays and found ourselves dragging, and that
extra trip to the gym afterwards just feels like too much.
Some of us though, have come to a point in our lives where we have realized that actually, any time is a good
time to make positive changes in our lives, not just at the beginning of a new year. Some of us have learned
to consistently set realistic and attainable goals throughout the year and always.
I learned this lesson somewhere between the year when I resolved to start consistently going to bed at
9:30PM (followed by a 2AM bedtime somewhere around January 3 rd ), and the year when I resolved to never
again eat junk food (followed by binge-eating a bag of potato chips, literally, the next time I saw one).
Sometimes making sudden and drastic changes is called for, but most of the time, slow and steady wins the
race. In other words, taking a small step toward a big goal is a much more effective way to change your life
than trying to take a giant flying leap, which may end up leaving you in a heap on the floor.
When I think about self-improvement, I now like to consider broad areas of health such as spiritual health,
having a healthy environment, exercising my body and my brain, etc. Then I think of specific habits within
these areas that I can change to create a healthier me. It is supposed to take 21 days to change a habit, so
every few weeks I choose an area to focus on and a small step I can take to improve my health in this area.
Typically, I just choose a goal which seems most attainable at the time, one that I haven’t looked at for a
while, and one I can implement every single day. Simple, right?
These are a few examples of health areas and goals, but of course, there are tons of options that are as
individual as you.
o Brain exercise – Read at least a page of a book every day.
o Spiritual exercise – Spend five minutes a day focused on prayer and meditation.
o Time in nature – Go outside daily, even for five minutes.
o Rest/Sleep – Get ready for bed earlier.