Choose at least one goal for each of the key areas of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, social and environmental.
Physical is simple. What is the easiest thing you can do to improve your health the most? If you don’t smoke, weight loss may be it.
Not sure if this applies? Visit http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ and plug in your height and weight to the BMI calculator. This is your Body Mass Index, and it is a score of your height in centimeters divided by your weight in kilograms. Don’t worry the site will let you enter data in good old feet/inches and pounds. Tons of data has correlated many causes of mortality to an elevated BMI. Readings above 25 are overweight, and readings above 30 are obese. Many people who look quite normal may have BMIs in the overweight range, don’t be surprised if you do. Unfortunately, even having a low body fat percent may not negate the risks of a high BMI.
About a year and a half ago, I was wading through a mountain of research papers showing that even high/normal BMI readings raised the mortality risk. This is when I calculated mine and saw it was barely under 25. I got motivated to finally master the trick of body weight once and for all. If your BMI is in the low 20’s, you’re set, if not, we can help.
If you do not smoke and have a good BMI, you are doing great! The third factor affecting your health is alcohol intake. Remember all those news reports that stated that wine was good for us? Guess where that data came from? If you guessed wine makers, then you’ve figured out how this works! Alcohol – up to 5 servings per week – is harmless for most adults, but here’s the rub. That fish bowl on a leg is not a serving, 4 ounces is a serving. If you are opening a bottle of wine each night, and sharing it with one person, then you are getting too much alcohol. The first health risks to show up for people who consume more than 5 servings per week are breast and prostate cancer. My favorite ‘cocktail’ is 1 part pomegranate juice with 1 part of mineral water. I live on the edge!
Emotional health is so important. The cornerstone of emotional health is healthy relationships. Don’t hold grudges, appreciate those around you, and tell them how you feel. Life is fragile. You never know what tomorrow will bring. If you do not feel happy most of the time, something is not right. If you are fearful most of the time, something is not right. Depression and anxiety are terrible but treatable. Customized supplement regimes, talk therapy and medication, when necessary, can help. Do not be afraid to ask. A fun book to perk you up is The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. He lays out a very strong case that all aspects of life are getting better.
Invest all of ½ hour daily in growing yourself this year. When you make this a habit it is so much fun to look back on last year’s goals. You will be amazed. Not only are the goals achieved, they are almost always surpassed!