EMBRACE YOUR MOTIVATION….and then reflect!  If there’s any chance that like many people you have an old “thigh master” in a box in the basement, you do know that the gimmicks for fast weight loss and amazing body toning equipment are not likely to do anything for you except gradually gather dust.
    HOWEVER,  motivation to google reviews or immediately open your Amazon account to place an order is truly WORTHWHILE….perhaps just misplaced.
    REALITY:  It’s a NEW YEAR… most of us have high aspirations for turning over a new leaf, heading in a new and satisfying direction both personally and professionally.  That’s indeed the thought, the feeling, the aspirational energy to embrace. So just think about the best way to analyze and assess and direct that energy.
    A FRESH START appeals to almost everyone. The key is to reflect, focus, and set goals that feel realistic/manageable…and involve one step at a time.
    Consider categories: 1) physical; 2) emotional; 3) intellectual; and 4) spiritual.  Make a list under each of these four areas and you’ve covered absolutely everything.  What do you know would feel good to accomplish in each one? And can you pace yourself? Step by step allows you to do one thing at a time, experience the accomplishment, and move onto another level.
    For example, imagine you want to lose 10 pounds and want to establish a regular and disciplined exercise routine — without the “crazy exercise equipment.”  Design a hierarchy of steps, from the easiest to the most difficult — with obviously, the most difficult your final “destination.”
    You might start with trying some form of exercise/movement for a minimum of 20 minutes five times a week…pick something truly easy for you to work into your schedule.  20 minutes is important because for most people, 20 minutes of movement that works up a sweat will also alter mood. It’s almost impossible to remain depressed when you move!
    Next, set the date, maybe about 7 to 10 days into the future, and identify how much you believe you are ready to increase the amount of time and frequency of exercise. Next, plug in a second goal…..perhaps a shift in your eating habits or an intention to learn to meditate.  Now do the same thing. Set a realistic goal for about a week; evaluate; then set another time line that feels manageable. Keep going, one step at a time toward your end goal.
    The idea is to make it manageable and consequently more likely to become built into your daily/weekly routines.  The same applies to anything you yearn to accomplish: preparing for a job change; learning a new language; saving enough money to travel to a desired vacation spot; purging your cluttered basement……START with a simple first step. When you complete step one on day one, reward yourself….just not with a donut!
    Small steps that lead to your final goal, with built in rewards and affirmations, truly do lead to change…the change you are after.  Take your time and go for it!  And have a wonderful new year!