Monday, February 8, 2016

MAKE SMALL CHANGES, SEE BIG RESULTS!

By Mary Kennedy                             
                                                          
 
This is the time of year that people ignore/forget about/ or disown the brave New Year's resolutions they made just a few weeks ago.  Discouraging? Maybe a little. But here's the good news. You can still make small changes and see great results.
                                                          
 
Just out of interest, I asked a few friends and e-mail buddies for suggestions on small changes they made to achieve their goals. Their answers were interesting and inspiring. And quite creative!
 
Here are a few of them. They're simple, practical, and above all doable.
 
1.  Cindy tells me she identified her "out of control" eating urges and realized they seem to occur at 4:00 pm. She's just picked the kids up from school and everyone heads for the kitchen. It's snack time. Cindy made a simple change. Before she picks up the kids, she arranges a nice tray of cut up fruits and vegetables with a Greek yogurt dip and sticks it in the fridge. She pulls it out the moment she gets home with the kids.  The kids balked at first ("Where's the chips?") but they've adapted. A simple change and she's back on track with her healthy eating goals.
                                                        
 
2. Laura, one of the kindest people I've ever met, is routinely browbeaten into donating her precious time to volunteer causes. She works full time, has four kids, is involved in Neighborhood Watch and already volunteers at the library and the PTA. Yet she is constantly besieged to "do more" and she finds she caves when someone calls her, asking her to serve on yet another committee.
 
 The solution?  She made an "Absolute YES" list, wrote it on an index card and keeps it by the phone. Unless the request fits in with her three goals for 2016 (get regular exercise, study for her real estate exam and get the house ready to sell), she forces herself to decline. It was hard at first, she admits, but she's getting better at it. The "Absolute Yes" list made all the difference.
                                                            
 
3.  Sandy has been told by her doctor that she has to walk 3 miles a day--without fail--to reduce her high blood pressure. She never seemed to make the time in her busy day, putting off "the dreaded walking" until late evening, when she would abandon the idea and fall into bed, exhausted.
 
 
 The solution: she teamed up with an "exercise buddy" and now she is held accountable. Rain, snow or sunshine, Sandy and her neighbor take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood, every night, immediately after dinner. They keep each other accountable and took a "no excuses" pledge. Sandy wouldn't dare not walk, she wouldn't want to let her exercise buddy down. A simple fix. Sandy looks forward to her 3 mile walk (something she swore she would never do) and finds it's a great way to decompress from the stresses of the day.  
 
How about you? Have you come up with a creative solution to reach your goals? I'd love to hear it.
 
Mary Kennedy