Discouraged or disappointed during 2016?

It’s always seemed to me that the dual goal is to accept reality while not losing sight of our ideals, our values. In a full life, disappointment is a reality. So much happens beyond our control. Avoiding acknowledgment of disappointments is denial. Denial gets us nowhere. Allowing disappointments to distract us from our direction is defeatist.

What is this personal fitness trainer talking about? And to whom is he talking? In 2016, many of you had “stuff” happen that even if not identified as disappointment, at least qualifies as a new challenge. Challenges to your health, in your family, at work—these realities are often discouraging obstacles and distractions to what is the most important aspect of our individual lives: improving our health.

Yes, this is self centered, but not in an egotistical way. When we take care of our health first, we’re able to be better mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, partners, lovers and citizens. We can be better in everything we do because when our health suffers, we have to focus on addressing it. If we just have a common cold, we do not function as well in any of our roles or responsibilities. If, on the other end of the disappointment/ challenges scale, we have to be hospitalized, we’re not exactly functioning at optimal levels either.

At the very least we have a responsibility to those we care about and to do all we can to prevent additional obstacles from occurring in 2017. For those dealing with challenges from 2016, improvement in small deliberate steps may be the most effective approach. For those readers who aren’t currently dealing with any issues, you will. We all will. And you fortunately have no excuses for not moving toward improvement with some enthusiasm.

OK, how about some specifics, some concrete directions, a GPS on what to do and not do instead of this pseudo-philosophical motivational mumbo-jumbo? Sure. Here it is. You can’t avoid change. You can’t improve without change. You can influence change. You have to change using self discipline. Self discipline is equal parts denial and motivation.

Stop right now. Today. Eating and drinking everything you already know isn’t good for you. Simple but not easy (which is where that unavoidable self discipline comes in). Learn more about nutrition. This is an evolving science. So get on board. Evolve.

Start right now. Today. Walking daily half as far as you can. This is simple and easy. Why just half as far? Because then you have to turn around and walk back. Now smile, but try it (self discipline again, of course).

For some of you regular readers, this isn’t anything new from me. But just because you’ve heard this from me before doesn’t mean you’ve done it. And those two simple Stop-Starts will make a major difference in your quality of daily life. You will feel better, move with less discomfort and have more day-to-day energy.

Due to publishing deadlines I’m writing this around Thanksgiving 2016. So I’ll forward the theme for you. In January 2017, be thankful for spending your entire life in the easiest conditions the human species has ever known. Take advantage of that and enjoy more of it by doing all you can to Improve Your Health. You and those you care about will be thankful you did.