Welcome to the New Year! Sales of all the things we need to live a healthy life replace the past month’s parade of holiday sales. Helping people achieve their New Year Resolutions is big business. Advertizing has gone crazy for weight loss plans, healthy foods, fitness centers, and just about anything to promote a healthy lifestyle.

How often have you resolved to eat healthy, exercise more, and lose weight? Google “most popular new year resolutions” and you will see that getting fit and losing weight top the list. The interesting thing is that they also top the list of the most common broken resolutions.

If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am. — Cyril Cusack

The above resolution attributed to the Irish actor Cyril Cusack is very profound. It offers good insight into how we can set resolutions that are not destined to fail. Before you set your 2012 resolutions, look inside of yourself and take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to know what your core strengths are. These will be the tools to overcome your weaknesses. Most of us set our resolutions to improve or eliminate our weaknesses.

In late 2010, I took my personal inventory by building a wellness vision. A wellness vision is a statement where you want to be in your overall wellness at a given point in time. Measurable goals support this vision. This method worked well for me. I feel that I achieved what I set out to do at the beginning of 2011. I have updated my wellness vision for 2012. It is almost identical with a few tweaks. Some goals remain the same, some have been updated and a few new goals have been added.

In 2012, the main change is in my goal, “I will advance my level of mental and physical fitness while encouraging others to embrace a more active life through cycling, hiking and other physical activities.” Although many of my fitness goals are related to cycling, 2012 will be a year when I stretch myself by diversifying my physical fitness activities and encouraging others to join me in this exploration.

For 2012, I am asking you to find out who you are. Do not rush into setting resolutions. It does not need to be done today, this week and even during January. By taking time to understand your inner strengths, you will prepare yourself to effectively challenge your weaknesses. Set the vision where you want to be a year from today. Most importantly, set goals that are obtainable, measurable and support that new place you see yourself sitting in 2013.

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