1. Health
Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

By January 1, 2012

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I'm hearing from some people that 2011 was their worst year, and I'm hearing from others that it was their best, but the consensus is that we all want 2012 to be our best year yet! And while we can't choose or control all of our 2012 circumstances, we can control our response to each challenge, our reaction to each opportunity, and our outlook from day to day. This can make the difference between a stressful year and a peaceful one, a year to escape or a year to savor; 2012 can be the year to change everything for you! You just need to know what steps to take to make a better 2012 a reality for you.

Over the next few weeks (and, to a lesser extent, over the next several months), I'll be bringing you resources you need to make changes in your life that can bring lasting inner peace. This goes beyond what most people do in the way of new year's resolutions, but it doesn't take more effort. The approach I'm advocating involves working smarter, rather than harder, to reach your goals in the new year, and to set the right goals in the first place. (As a life coach and wellness coach, I work with clients to make changes in their lives that reflect their personal goals, values, and strengths, and I'd like to do the same for you here on a more casual scale.) The first step is to look at what you may want to change. (If you already know, keep reading--there are resources for you further down.)

Because goal setting is so important for goal attainment, I want to be sure to share effective strategies for setting new year's goals. If you take the traditional approach of setting one big goal (like, "I want to lose weight") and then making major changes (like, "I will no longer eat dessert and will start following a very rigid diet until I do"), you may be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. For example, if you decide to lose weight by starting a very strict diet, it will be difficult to make such a change right away. It's likely that you'll have a few slip-ups. If you're like most resolution-setters, you may experience one of these slips and decide that you just don't have what it takes to make the change. You may either lose motivation or give up altogether, and maybe even be less inclined to try again in the future.

To be sure this doesn't happen, read about how to set effective goals for the new year.

If you already know how to set goals and are generally effective with your new year's resolutions, and you need new ideas of healthy changes to make, I recommend you choose one of these resolutions for a less-stressed 2012, and find changes you can make that bring greater peace to your life.

Finally, when you're making a change in your life, it often helps to announce it to others, as a way to commit yourself. You may or may not be ready to tell all of your nearest and dearest, but one quick and easy step you can take now toward increased commitment and motivation is to share your resolutions with me and other readers, and see what the rest of us are planning in 2012.

Stay tuned for future blogs and resources on this topic, and good luck in the new year!

Another effective way to stay on track with your goal of creating a fantastic 2012 is to 'like' my Facebook page About Stress Management or follow me on Twitter, to get regular updates and resources for stress relief in 2012. Let's connect!

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