It may be February, but we’re still at the top of the year. And welcoming a new year, a new beginning, and a new set of things to accomplish with a fresh perspective is exciting. But, before you hit the “refresh” button to activate your 2015 newness, I want to encourage you to take some time to reflect on 2014. In particular, your health and fitness. I’m sure many of you, our GT Readers, have heard the well-researched and supported behavioral principle that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. With that principle in mind, I would like for you to consider completing the five action steps below. Doing so will provide you with a structured approach for reflecting on your year 2014 and planning with greater intentions for 2015.
Action Step One: Assess your goals.
Did you establish goals for your health and fitness in 2014? Most people start out their new year with an idea of what they want to accomplish, such as incorporating better eating habits, becoming physically active, and eliminating the need for medication. If you established health and fitness goals, and action steps for accomplishing those goals in 2014, answer these questions:
- Did I achieve my goals?
- Am I satisfied with what I achieved?
- Did anything occur that changed my goals over the progression of the year?
- How should I adjust my goals and action steps for 2015?
Action Step Two: Evaluate your year.
How well did I do at accepting and incorporating new health and fitness activities? This action step is about detailing the progression (to include successes and/or failures). As you evaluate your 2014, ask yourself these questions:
- What new habits did I developed?
- What have I become more knowledgeable about?
- How am I better today than I was at the beginning of the 2014?
Action Step Three: Create your summary.
What is my current status? Evaluate all facets of your health and fitness and analyze your position today. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Am I where I should be with my health and fitness?
- What has facilitated or stalled my advancement?
- Am I happy with my current situation?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Action Step Four: Imagine your future.
What is next? Imagine the path you want your health and fitness to take in 2015. Again, here are some questions to help you:
- What is my supreme/ultimate health and fitness desire?
- What goals do I need to establish?
Action Step Five: Identify your action steps for 2015.
How will you obtain your future health and fitness desire(s)? Make a list of what you need to do (action steps) to achieve your 2015 goals. For example, a goal to become physically active might include exercising for 30 minutes (5 days a week) before/after work or joining an exercise group that meets twice a week. Questions to ask yourself:
- What are the action steps I need to employ?
- What lifestyle changes do I need to make?
- How/when should I employ my action steps?
- What resources do I need for successful completion of my action steps?
- Do I need to hire a nutritionist, running coach, personal trainer, or join a gym?
Completing this exercise will help you to think ahead, allow your thoughts to trigger creative options, and aid in outlining specific action steps. There is one example of thinking ahead and creative options that comes to my mind. Have you had a desire to complete a 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon event? This stage of your new beginning is the perfect time to tap into your hidden innermost potential. Simply think in terms of moving to your forefront the choice, change, commitment, courage and control that lies inside of you.
For the GT Readers who are considering walking and/or running as an option for becoming physically active, today is a good day to research walk/run training programs in your area. Signing up to participate in a structured program would be a great action step for making your desire to become physically active a reality!
This New Year all you need is the desire to take your health and fitness to the next level and the courage to go for it.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2 NIV)