Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolution 2011 - Your Wellness

For at least as long as people have been making resolutions to change in the New Year, health has topped many of those lists. No doubt it’s on there again for millions of Americans.

Why is it, then, that good intentions soon go awry for so many? Candidly, it’s often because, good intentions aside, the health goal sought is unrealistic. Borrowing a page from business school, following is a roadmap toward achieving your wellness (or other) goal in the New Year.

Common B-School wisdom states that in order for a goal to be achievable it must be SMART. With apologies to George T. Duran who is first credited with identifying this process, I’ll add my own take on his mnemonic which stands for: Specific; Measureable; Attainable; Realistic; and, Timely. In other words, a resolution to lose weight feels really good to make. But, it may soon loom above you like an albatross doing more harm than good to your long term wellness.

Specific — What is your goal? If it’s to lose weight, exactly how much weight do you need to lose in order to be healthy and happy? If your goal is to be more healthy, you need to quantify the goal for it to be meaningful.

Measurable — Weight loss (or gain) is easily measured using a scale. Quitting smoking can be measured by the number of cigarettes smoked in a certain period of time. Adopting a healthier diet can be measured by counting calories and keeping a daily consumption log. Once you’ve decided on the specifics of your goal, be sure to find a means to accurately measure your progress along the way.

Attainable — Just because a goal is specific and measurable doesn’t mean it’s attainable. When it comes to wellness, be sure to consult with medical professionals in order to determine if your goal will bring about the desired result. Many times good intentions can be followed quickly with the desire to do more or push harder which may end up doing more harm than good.

Realistic — By now you’ve no doubt caught on to the theme here. Wellness is an admirable goal. You’ll live with less pain, you’ll likely live longer, you’ll be more productive and you will most certainly find more happiness. However, as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Plan for setbacks along the way but don’t let them derail your program. Start out with mini goals that can be met quickly and easily. Doing so will reinforce the bigger goal.

Timely — Don’t forget to set a timeframe alongside your goal. Determine just how long it will take to achieve milestones along the way. Use this to gauge your progress. Revise your plan if need be. Don’t toss your plan as just another half-baked resolution because you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d hoped.

By taking a SMART approach to your wellness resolutions in 2011, you’ll find better success. And, you’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come.

If SMART goals don’t do the trick for you, you can always fallback upon the DUMB approach. In case you’re wondering, that stands for: Doable; Understandable; Manageable; and, Beneficial. Whatever works, so long as wellness is on your list and you take steps today to enjoy better health!

When it comes to wellness, Relax The Back has your back. We’ve been helping Valley residents achieve their goal to relieve back pain for nearly 17 years from our store in Uptown Plaza. Our solutions are non-surgical and focused on properly supporting proper postures. We take the time to listen to our clients and to provide education and alternatives. We have products that support a 24/7 solution to back pain. Best wishes to you in achieving your wellness resolution in 2011. Here’s to your health!