It’s January of the year 2020. I’m feeling like this year is special. We all know that perfect vision is measured as 20/20. What if we make this the year of having perfect vision and ultimately clarity for the decisions that lie ahead of us? Specifically about any changes we want to make to live healthier lives. 

The biggest obstacle in making any change is remembering that we want to make those changes. We are faced with so many choices and opportunities in a given day that it’s hard not to take the path of least resistance. It’s easier to come home after a long day of work and sit on the couch instead of getting out for a walk. It’s easier to chow down on a bowl of cereal (while sitting on the couch) than it is to put together a well-balanced meal. We are bombarded with temptations for easy/convenient. The flip side is that this will lead us to a tough and inconvenient future when the aches, pains and illness set in. Living a life of leisure is a dream. It is a pipe dream. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Making changes means changing habits. It takes 66 days to change a habit. There are theories that say it takes 21 days but it really does take 66 days to cement it into your life. So step one is take out a calendar and count out 66 days. That works out to be 9 weeks. Next write/type/scratch your goal into that calendar on the final day. Then you’re going to break the goal up into small pieces and work backwards until you get to the start date. For example, let’s say that 3 times a week you want to walk 5 kilometres but currently you are walking 1 kilometre a couple of times a week. What you would do is start at 1 kilometre 2 to 3 times a week, and add half a kilometre every week. At the end of the 9 weeks you’d be at your goal of 5 kilometres 3 times per week.

Staying on track is tougher than setting the goal and making a plan. That’s a great first step. In my experience, it’s easy to lose sight of the goal. So, once you have the first part set, implement some of these ideas:

  • Make appointments in your calendar that support your goal. Scheduling a walk or exercise session makes sense, but this strategy can also be used to support any other goal. If improving your eating habits (losing weight) are your focus, schedule time to make a meal plan, grocery list, grocery shopping, preparation of your meals, and the consumption of the meal. Even making an appointment to go to bed at a specific time works, if better sleep is your goal.
  • Establish a method of accountability. Buddy up with someone who shares your timing for making a change. It will work even if you’re not sharing the same goal. It may even work better if you’re the competitive type. 
  • Celebrate the small successes. Find ways of doing this without compromising your goal. Find a healthy treat like a hot bath, a cup of tea, or planning a visit with a special friend. Anything that provides an opportunity to be mindful of what you’ve done. Let a smile come to your face. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of empowerment. 
  • Let go of the missteps. If you miss a workout or eat a doughnut, it’s not the end of the world. There are 66 days in this plan and it’s okay to have a few bad ones. Don’t give up. 

This is the only time we’ll have 365 days to see or say 20/20. Use it as a reminder to be honest with yourself. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Look in the mirror and find your truth. Then take the 360+ days you have to make it happen.

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