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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

More than Just Making Resolutions: Setting Health Goals for the New Year

Nov 30, 2013 03:18PM ● By Dr. Tanya Maximoff

The hustle and bustle of the holidays and the fast approaching new year mean most of us are involved in a flurry of activity this month. But this time of year should also be a time for reflection and planning — otherwise, we tend to find ourselves playing catch-up without really getting anywhere. Most businesses use this time of year to set goals and objectives and to revise their plans and strategies accordingly. What would happen if we did the same for health? How would we see our lives if we were actually able to accomplish the goals we set forth in the past year?

Instead of the making the same resolutions that we often fail to keep, we can set goals for a healthier new year in much the same way that businesses set goals for a healthier fiscal year.  The best time to lay out a plan is now — just before the new year is upon us. Find a quiet place for an hour, whether waking early before your family does to have the house to yourself or at a local coffee shop, so you can focus on yourself.

To begin, it’s important to be clear about not only what your goals are but your reasons for achieving them. And make sure those goals are truly what you want. You should also identify the people and situations in your life that support and challenge your efforts. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can design an effective health restoration and development program that sets you up for success.

Step 1: Choose your goals — Decide which lifestyle changes you wish to make whether starting an exercise program, changing your diet, quitting smoking, or making that long overdue appointment with your chiropractor, massage therapist or for your annual physical. Then pick the five goals that are most important to you at this time. Be specific and give as much detail as possible and have a picture of your goals to help visualize them.

Step 2: Write a plan for reaching your goals — Break down your plan into monthly and weekly steps. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds for your high school reunion in May, you could set a monthly goal of losing 10 pounds or a weekly goal of 2 ½ pounds. By setting a deadline and putting it in writing, you’re more likely to achieve it.

Step 3: Review your goals daily — By reviewing your goals each day, they’ll be imprinted in your mind and help you stay focused on what action you need to take daily.

Step 4: Work your plan — To eliminate wasted time and energy, channel your efforts in the pursuit of your goals. Believe in yourself and be determined to speed your progress.

Track your goals and reward yourself as you achieve them. Our health is our most important asset. Unfortunately, it’s also the one we neglect the most, affecting all aspects of our lives.

We push ourselves to the limit with ever-rising stress levels, which often result in a poor diet and minimal activity and exercise. When our health fails, we find ourselves focused totally on the arduous and expensive task of regaining it, when we could have prevented it. By setting goals and sticking to them, this time next year you will have cause to celebrate!

Tanya Maximoff, D.C., C.C.S.P, director of MaxLife, recently moved her practice from Montville to Morristown. Her full-spectrum holistic office offers chiropractic, massage, cold laser therapy, designed clinical nutrition, acupuncture and thermography.  For questions or to schedule a free consultation, please call 973-292-0222, email [email protected] or visit

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