2019 is here! You may have many feelings when you reflect on the year you leave behind and think about the new year’s goals. However, before we go off on the whole “New Year, New Me” thing, let’s take a moment to self-reflect. When we think about things we want to change about ourselves, some of us may squeeze some extra skin, flick a cigarette ash or spend that last $20 bill like its monopoly money. It is important to self-reflect so you can choose realistic and maintainable goals for 2019.

Coming from a Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, I beg and plead you to NOT have the overused goal of, “I’m going to lose 30lbs this year”. Instead of looking at the end result, focus on what it takes to lose weight. And no it's not any crazy fad diets, we have already been there and tried that. It is as simple as having a goal be: “I’m going to eat more fruits and vegetables and less chips”, “I’m going to drink more water than soda”, “I’m going to be more active and sit on the couch less”, “I’m going to join a gym or attend a fitness class instead of spending my money on other unhealthy choices”. Set small, daily, weekly and/or monthly goals on top of your yearly goals to help decrease any anxiety.

How many of us have said, “I’m going to quit smoking”? Quitting any kind of addiction is difficult but not impossible. Set a quit date, tell others about it and stick to it. If your significant other is also interested in quitting, quit together! Your success rate just increased because you have someone supporting you along the way. Another option is to seek out help from your local clinics, hospitals or hotlines. There is support within our community, you just have to take the initiative to change and make the effort to seek help.

Who has made the yearly goal of paying off debt and saving money? It sounds simple until your car breaks down, a medical emergency happens or some other unexpected expense comes up. Saving doesn’t have to be a hundred dollars at once. Don’t take off more than you can chew. Think about it this way, by saving $1 a week for a whole year you will save $52. If you saved $5 a week for a whole year it equals $260. It might not sound like much but something is always better than nothing.

In the end it can be easy or difficult to reflect on the past year but it is important to do in order to move forward into the new year with a positive mind set and realistic goals.

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!

Submitted by: Megan Swenson, Certified Wellness Coach at St. Croix Regional Medical Center

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