I’m pretty good at making To Do lists. I rather like them. In fact, I’m one of those people who will complete an action that was not on the list, then write it down so I can mark it off. I really like that feeling of completion and productivity. I enjoy looking at a list with all the things marked off.

When looking to make changes, we have a goal in mind. That’s the point of doing something different, right? The change we desire is our goal.
Goals work best when they are manageable, when there are steps laid out to accomplish the task.

We start with a grand concept. Then we have to break it down into smaller and smaller pieces until we have an easy, understandable way to navigate from Point A (where we are) to Point B (where we want to be).

I hope that you’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to decide on some things you want to improve upon. When you have some ideas, don’t forget to make a plan.

For example:

When I moved to Sweden, I decided I wanted to be healthy. I had never been truly healthy before, and I decided it was high time. Here’s the path I took:

Step One: Find out what’s healthy. Read books and articles. Write stuff down.

Step Two: Break information into categories. I explored health in 3 main areas: Eating, Exercise, and Mental Health.

Step Three: Try stuff. Write down what works. I found that I really enjoyed yoga, but hate riding a bike. Writing and talking out my life helps keep my stress levels down. I like fruit and vegetables, but I only ever ate about 4 different ones, so I tried a whole bunch of new food. I also learned to cook things I had never touched before. Like lentils.

Step Four: Make it consistent. I walked every day because I had to, but I started doing simple yoga stretches every day before bed. I made myself some fun 30-day Challenges for working out. I signed up for a Bollywood dance class. I started journaling. I found someone I could open up to and talk through my life, and made it a priority to contact them once a week. I began experimenting with my diet, trying new recipes, eating less cake and cookies for breakfast.

Step Five: Keep learning, keep assessing. It was a year and a half after I started this process that I found out I was allergic to gluten. As 2014 began, I realized I don’t exercise as much, so now I’m working on making that more of a priority.

It’s been 3 years since I made ‘Be Healthy’ a New Year’s Resolution, and it’s still affecting my life. The changes we want to make can come to pass if we have a plan.

What’s your plan?

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