Archive for January 1st, 2010

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By Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Mainstream media is full of celebrity resolutions, local Chicagoan resolutions and predictions for the year ahead. I am not big on resolutions. I am more of a goal setter. Resolutions are promises or wishes that may be tough to deliver on. Goals are actionable, time delineated, realistic, measurable and positive! Wellness Coaching is also big on goal setting. In fact, goal setting, goal review and goal refining is a big part of what makes wellness coaching so successful.

When you set a resolution or “swear off” booze, or sugary foods or some other lifestyle problem, you set yourself up for failure and the shame and guilt that can accompany that failure. When you set a goal, you have a chance to think through specifics, what you are trying to accomplish, and what tools and support you will need to reach those goals. The process of goal setting is just as important as the actual goal you set.

For example, a new years resolution might be “I will quit smoking for the New Year!”

• This resolution doesn’t give you a start date, any tools or a structured support system for quitting smoking.

A goal may be “I make a list of smoking cessation programs by January 8th.”

• This goal gives you a specific deadline: June 8th. By June 8th you will know whether you completed the goal or not.

• Making a list of smoking cessation programs gets you mentally ready to quit without imposing too many obligations on you. Making a list is an action. When you complete it, you can feel good that you have accomplished a step towards your ultimate goal of quitting smoking.

Goal Review

Goals can be and should be reviewed frequently. In Wellness Coaching session, we review goals about once per week. If a goal is not met, then we look at changing the goal instead of beating you up about not completing it.

For example, if you goal is to eat 5 vegetables each day and you end up not eating any vegetables, we would likely look at the goal and decide if this is a reasonable goal for you. Perhaps adding 1 serving of fruit each day may be a more realistic and achievable goal on the way towards your ultimate aim of eating 5 veggie servings a day. Then maybe the next goal may be eating veggie soup once a day. The goals you set would be tweaked based on your past experiences of what works best for you and what’s realistic for your to achieve within the time constraints we set up.

This New Year I wish everyone good health, happiness and stress free days. I will write more about goal setting in the coming months. But my goal for this blog is to write a post about aspects of wellness at least four times each week.

Happy New Year!

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