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Resolving on Health

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Gwendolyn Haley

Are you making any resolutions this year? Gwendolyn has sets her sights on a healthier year. Read about it here.

I’m avoiding the cookies. That’s my big New Year’s resolution for 2015. Sure, I’ve made more grand goals in the past, with long lists of things that I am going to do to make me better, smarter, and healthier. In our first year of marriage, my husband and I decided that taking up jogging would be our mutual resolution. Does anyone else remember January of 1995? We didn’t make it past the first week because the average HIGH was only 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Last year, I resolved to read 52 books; I made it to 40 (and I feel pretty good about that).

As I took stock of 2014 though, I realized that I had such a long laundry list of ways I needed to take better care of myself that it got a little depressing. More sleep would be nice. A better work/life balance, certainly. More intentionality in time spent with my family, absolutely. Giving more of my time, treasure, and talents to worthy causes, definitely. And to quote my wise spouse “We could all stand to lose a few pounds.” Losing weight leads to changing the way I feed myself, which isn’t currently always in my own best interest. (Anyone else treat themselves a little too much over the holidays?) The dog needs to be walked more often, and so do I—which means exercise must be in the mix. I could go on and on and on.

Many people are thinking about the same things this time of year and there are no shortage of books, magazine articles, and websites to help transform eating habits, exercise, and make other lifestyle changes. Being a librarian, I’m naturally inclined to look for good research to help me make decisions. I did a little browsing in our library’s Gale Courses “Personal Development” category and found free 6-week courses like “Lose Weight and Keep It Off,” “Individual Excellence,” and “Luscious, Low-fat, Lightning-Quick Meals” just to name a few. The great thing about taking a class to support my resolution is that it comes with weekly assignments and with them some built in accountability. That should help.  Every time I have ever made a big change in my personal habits, it has been with a dose of some outside accountability. (Like announcing to my intention to attempt a sprint triathlon.)

I plan to take some time in deciding on my goals for 2015. A good goal takes thought and planning. It should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound). I’ll probably land on something like:

In 2015, I will run at least 3 times a week and build up from 3 miles to 8 miles so that I can run Bloomsday in May.

-or-

In 2015, I will set aside one day each month for one on one time with each of my children to do an activity of their choosing.

-or-

In 2015, I will eat a healthy breakfast every morning that includes fruits or vegetables (instead of rushing out the door without eating anything at all).

For now, I’m going to stay away from the cookies.

Gwendolyn Haley

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