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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Patella


Have you broken your New Year's resolution yet? Every year we reflect on the year we have had and the things we want to accomplish in our lives. We ask ourselves - What is really important to me? What do I really need? What do I really, really need to let go of? We make commitments to ourselves and start the new year with hope, a clean slate and we have visions of success – finally reaching that one goal that we keep trying for. A few days go by. We make some headway. Then a little slip here, and there – then we say it’s ok just once and it happens over and over. We start falling back into the old routine and whoosh – just like that it’s gone. The hope, the commitment and we make the excuse of – well maybe I will try again later. Why do we do this to ourselves year after year? So why not start different? Why not see it for what it really is? It is not a New Year’s commitment – it is something we need to do for ourselves. The new year affords us the motivation to do it – a new beginning. Let’s not make it “lose 20 lbs by starting that new, crazy diet” that we can never live with. Or even “I am going to make more money this year – I will work longer hours, work smarter”. Or whatever it may be – we all seek things to make us happy. Stop trying gimmicks marketed for failure. I received over 40 email advertisements New Years’ morning telling me why this product or that method was going to give me everything I want in 2021! Some of them really had a great hook promising to make me thousands of dollars only to get to the end of the email and I had to buy something or join something. Really? I am not going to do that to you. I am going to tell you exactly what works – the tried and true method of success. Nothing outside of you can change what is inside of you. And honestly if it were easy then everyone would be fit and happy – right? But when you are happy inside you glow and everyone around you sees it. I am not trying to discourage you – truly I want to help you start in a way that will allow you to succeed. Whatever your goals are for your lifestyle and health this year let’s try a different approach this time and really make it happen! Each of the goals I mentioned earlier are attainable. I know if for a fact. I did it for my life and you can too – that is if you are willing to try what I am going to share with you. I lost 45 pounds and never gained it back because I changed my lifestyle and I started with an attitude of success. No doubts, no worrying – I believed in myself and my faith and did these same exact steps. Are you ready? I published my first book and started with an attitude of success. Was it hard? YES! And when things got tough I dug deep and took one step at a time. First I want you to look at your own life. Did you go to college? Not an easy feat. It was hard work for the most part. Or maybe it was a trade school and it took years to master it. Accumulated techniques passed down from peers and methods you learned the hard way. Perhaps it was creating a home and life for you and your family – another monumental feat in life! All of these things took sacrifice, dedication, discipline and most importantly, believing in yourself - even during the hardest of times. This is where success comes from – YOU! It is your strength that made those things happen. Not some gimmick. Where does your strength come from? Faith? Grit? Determination? That is what you need to lean on for your success.

Setting your goals is step by step - let’s not make it Mount Everest looming in front of you. Everything begins with a single step – one step at a time, small attainable goals that you can handle. When you went to school you had classes with daily work to be done that built up to a test that built up to semester exams that built up to finals and so on. If you had a baby it went by month by month, pregnancy, diapers, crawling, walking, then riding a bike and so on. At this stage of life if we want to lose weight its mostly to improve our health and reduce our risk of aging and debilitating disease. So lets start there. It’s a lot more meaningful than I need to lose 10-20 pounds to look better. At any age but more evident over 50 is that our health is the most important thing we have. No amount of money or love will give you the quality of life you need AND it is the one thing you have control over. Our risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, inflammation that causes pain, and more, are all controllable by lifestyle. Exerting a little discipline goes a long way. Before you read any further you need to have an attitude of success. You ARE going to be successful at this. Doubt is the beginning of failure so set your mind in the right frame and one step leads to another. If you fall one step behind take the next step and you will keep moving forward. Starvation for weight loss causes a series of internal reactions that deprives us of our ability to exert discipline. Fact: If you fail to plan your plan will fail. Step #1: Start eating small, healthy meals and snacks to avoid hunger. Eat every 3-4 hours. Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time. 3 meals and 3 snacks daily. Total Time: adds about 1-2 hours per week to food prep time. Tip: Make enough dinner for 2 or 3 meals. Freeze leftovers. (chicken & veggies & quinoa; fish & veggies & cauliflower rice; turkey meatballs w/sweet potato noodles & homemade pesto sauce) Roast up a pan of raw nuts sprinkled with sea salt and a few drops of coconut oil. Bag them up for snacks to take with you. Freeze raw fresh fruit & veggies, cold pressed, juice into popsicles for snacks (Grapes, lemon w/ peel, chard; carrots, ginger, apple) or just keep it in jars for snacks to drink. Lack of physical activity ages your body. Your body is made to move. Fact: Lack of physical activity results in loss of bone density; stiffening of joints; weakening of muscles; weight gain resulting in obesity adding additional health risks – to name a few. Step #2: Increase your activity by 15 minutes a day building to 30 minutes a day. Total Time: 15 minutes a day. Tip: Park further from the store and walk the distance; take your dog for an extra walk or increase the walk time; meet a friend at the park or beach for a 15-minute walk; put on some music at home and dance for 15 minutes. If you can’t fit 15 minutes a day into your schedule your life is overextended. Perhaps you can exchange an activity for one that gives you back quality of life. A brain that is not challenged or growing is burning out. Challenging your brain grows new brain cells, maintains existing cells and promotes communication between them. Fact: Challenging your brain by learning new things -especially things that also include your body – improves memory, increases mental capacity, decreases risks of Alzheimer’s and age-related senility. Step #3: Learn one new thing every day. Total Time: 5-6 minutes a day Tip: Start a simple language course to finally learn a second or third language. Take one dance lesson and practice every day at home or continue going to the classes once a week. Pick up a poetry book or bible and memorize one line of a verse every day. Add a new app to your phone or computer and practice it daily. All of these are available on You Tube. These 3 steps are easy and doable. The results will blow your mind when you see how easy it is to have a better quality of life inside and out. These are proven methods to achieve your goals one step at a time. You won’t believe the adventure I am starting in 2021!!! Are you ready? Change begins with the first step and so does success! You can do this. It’s that simple. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Henry David Thoreau

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