Life and Spiritual Coaching

December 13, 2008

Preparing for 2009!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Donna Ritter @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , ,

Preparing for the New Year – Welcome to 2009!

New Year’s is a time to reflect on the past year, look forward to the New Year and reflect on the changes you want to make. One of the most important things to remember is not to set you up for failure. Most people have a list of New Year’s resolutions. If you have too many resolutions, you will become overwhelmed by trying to do too many things at once. It takes 4-6 weeks for a person to integrate a new habit into their lives. A better solution is to pick your top 3-4 resolutions and plans. If you take them one at a time, you can get gratification for succeeding in implementing one before going on to the next.
The top 10 on most people’s list includes the following:
• Spend more time with your family: No one (if they think about it before it’s too late) would want people to remember them as the person who was always at work, the person who had the most toys, or the person who once they retired, could not figure out what to do with their time! Hello! I would love to be in a situation where I could relax, travel, spend time with friends and family whenever I wanted. This is the time to rethink your priorities. When was the last time you took the family out for a hike in the woods or out for dinner?
• Lose weight: This especially hits folks after gorging themselves during the holidays. Losing weight is a life style change and diets are the wrong approach to losing weight. The best thing to do is to eat small portions more frequently during the day to keep your blood sugar at a consistent level. Keep this up all throughout the year and you won’t need to add this to the list of resolutions next year!
• Exercise: Look at the parking lot of any gym in January. You’ll find they are very crowded. Everyone knows that they feel better if they are exercising, but most people go overboard and then get frustrated when they don’t keep up with their plans. Keeping fit can be done anywhere! You don’t need to join a gym. Walking is free and one of the best ways to exercise. To start, take short walks during breaks and at lunch. Build up to have a total of 30-35 minutes a day walking at a pace where you pass most people up but can still keep a conversation going without huffing and puffing. After you get to this point, add some weight training. You can buy 5-10 lb weights and use them in a light to medium workout 10-15 minutes a day for a total of 50-60 minutes a week. Do this slowly so it becomes an enjoyable break, not a chore. Play some music. And remember; stretch before and after any workout. This makes all the difference in the world. You don’t want to be laid up with a pulled muscle!
• Stop Smoking: I know how bad smoking is for you. I lost too many people to diseases caused by smoking, but since I’ve never smoked, I can’t say how hard this is from experience. I suggest consulting your doctor. It’s never too late to stop!
• Relax and smell the roses: This is something I have to constantly remember. Relaxing isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Life is too short to ignore this one though. One thing that helps me is to meditate.
• Stop drinking: This is something that you can’t do cold turkey. Taper off slowly or moderate your drinking.
• Get out of debt: The economy is on everyone’s mind these days. Start by keeping track of what you spend during the day. It’s amazing how much money you can go through and not be able to say where it went at the end of the month. Once you have control over your day to day spending, start looking for ways to cut your budget. There are a lot of great blogs around that help with finances. One of my favorites is They have advice on everything about money.
• Learn something new: this is one I have no problems with. I love to learn. I read constantly. There are many avenues to treating yourself to a new learning experience. Look at your local community colleges. Lots of them have free or inexpensive classes on things from bird watching to photography.
• Give back to the community: There are so many people out there that are less fortunate than you. Find out what you can do. If you don’t have extra money hanging around, give your time. It’s so valuable and you will come away from it with a good feeling.
• Get organized: Go to the Container store or something similar and get those papers organized. You don’t have to keep receipts for years (unless it was a major purchase and you may need it for warranty or tax purposes). I keep my receipts in a folder with a section for each month. Same for bills. As you come to a month that is filled, empty the contents and throw them out. Scan receipts for major purchases and save them on your computer. You need to keep tax records for 7 years, but most of the paper we all save can be thrown out. Don’t let your magazines pile up. One of my problems is with books since I read so much. I heard a professional organizer say that if your bookshelf is full you can’t buy a new book unless you get rid of another book. Take them to Goodwill or to a used book store.
Have a Happy New Years!!

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