Define and set goalsI always love January. I like leaving the old year behind and getting started with the New Year. For me, January is the most hopeful month, filled with expectations of the coming year and new goals.

One continual goal of mine has been to strive to maintain my health. Last month, I wrote about how our mental attitude affects our physical health. Obviously, the opposite is also true. Physical health affects our mental attitude.

This has always been a vicious circle for me, trying to maintain appropriate balance to keep both physical state and mental attitude positive. Just as grumpiness depresses my immune system, my ‘weakened’ immune system depresses me!

All my life, I have had plenty of frustrating times dealing with a weak immune system. However, the last few years, even though they have been the most stressful years of my life, I have had fewer viruses and colds than in years past.

This blessing has been, in part, due to changing my eating habits, concentrating on incorporating nutrition into my daily routine, and my supportive chiropractor/kineseologist/ nutritionist. I do have days where I forget, or am too busy, but then I try harder the following days.

Establishing the habit of an appropriate health regimen is an ongoing process, continually growing. Improving on my health will continue to be one of my main goals for at the beginning of each new year.

Maybe some of you are also setting goals of maintaining or improving your immune system this year, or maybe you would like to change your eating habits, or you may have some other goal you would like to accomplish. Whatever it is, remember to slowly make the changes.

There aren’t too many people who can change all habits at once. You may have decided to eat half as much sugar as you would normally (check all labels), or drink half as many soda pops. Possibly you want to cut down on the amount of caffeine, or nicotine you use, or exercise more.

Start with something you can accomplish, because this will give you more confidence in choosing the next step. Breaking bad habits can take many days, especially physical addictions. Making good habits usually takes at least three weeks, or even longer for us to begin to get comfortable with it. The important thing is to be determined.

My mother was very determined when in 1996, she surprised her family with a wonderful Christmas present; she stopped smoking – cold turkey – with the help of herbs, and advice from her favorite health food store.

It wasn’t easy, especially after smoking for over 45 years, but she gave it her best effort, and was successful. We are so proud of her; it was the greatest gift she could have given my brother (Bill), me, and her two grandchildren. Thank you, Mom!

Whatever goals you set, and steps you decide to take, be sure to pat yourself on the back for your efforts. Do not count the times you slip up, but instead count the times you are successful.

When you goof up, don’t worry, just start again, and try a little harder. Developing a good habit takes time, and we need to allow for short term adjustments, as we plan our long term goals.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

[reprinted from Applied Health Journal No.16]

[Applied Health Publications are registered in the United States Library of Congress, ISSN: 1525-6359]