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Here's to You -- Take charge of your life

New Year's resolutions - if you're like most, you have tried many and did not succeed. Your intentions were great, your initial motivation stellar.

Then, February rolled around and you gave up. Sound familiar? 1 percent of those who set New Year's Resolutions actually succeed. With this statistic, it is astounding that many of us continue to buy into the New Year's resolution idea.

Let's investigate why 1 percent of people succeed and the rest fail. The MedSave InCharge Wellness Team uses the tips below to help their clients reach their goals.

Were your goals SMART? A SMART goal is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Example of a goal that is NOT SMART:

-- I want to lose 25 pounds.

-- I want to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Example of a SMART goal:

-- I want to lose 10 pounds in the next month by walking on the treadmill 45 minutes a day, five days a week at a pace of 3.5 mph.

-- I want to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables by having an apple everyday for my mid-morning snack and having a green vegetable with my dinner every night.

The key is to break down your long range goal into more manageable chunks.

Research says, setting smaller more manageable goals and achieving these goals leads to a better overall outcome. That is, those of us who break down our goals into smaller chunks achieve better results over time. Our brains actually emit positive, feel-good chemicals when we achieve a goal. These chemicals cause a chain reaction that leads to greater motivation to continue to achieve even more.

Did you provide yourself with tools and support to achieve your goal? Setting yourself up for failure versus success is common. We do this by setting all-or-nothing standards, believing you can do it all on your own, buying a gym membership with no specific plan or guidance, or trying the latest fad diet which may eliminate entire food groups.

Did you discuss your goals with a support person? Who is supporting you and who is hindering you?

Your supportive people will be positive about your desire to change and participate in your lifestyle changes with you. Those who hinder you will likely bring in negativity and sabotage your success. The idea that we can achieve great success on our own is simply untrue. We need to surround ourselves with knowledgeable and supportive people to ensure success in our lifestyle change ventures.

Were your goals only to change your outside appearance? Many of us put 95 percent of our focus on looking better or different, while ignoring the more important and sustainable outcomes.

For example, eliminating the use and cost of medications, playing on the floor with our children or grandchildren, reducing cholesterol or blood pressure or simply getting out of bed in the morning are lifestyle-altering results. Looking good is great; however, feeling good is even better.

So, how do we finally take charge of our lives and make long-term changes?

Who is on your team? Surround yourself with support. Not just any support.

For example, nutrition professionals like a registered dietician, fitness professionals like a certified personal trainer who leads by example and those who have positive energy can pave the path for you. Many of the weight-loss programs do not have hands-on knowledgeable professionals to support you every step of the way.

What are your tools? Who has helped you develop a personalized plan for success that is right for you? You are an individual with time constraints and specific needs. You may be more likely to succeed with hands-on service in your home, with specific meal and fitness plans.

Changing your outlook from "quick fix" to "permanent lifestyle" means you are not on a diet to stop in three weeks. Your daily food intake is balanced and provides room for proper nutrition and an occasional dessert without the guilt and sabotaging affects. You look forward to exercising as a part of your daily routine and feel great while doing it. The final result is you feel better, your energy is higher, your medications are eliminated or decreased and your outlook on life is positive and contagious!

"Once I made the decision to stop with all the excuses and to get healthy, the MedSave Wellness Program was a perfect fit for me," said Judy Killian, MedSave client. "Working with Kristin, the dietitian, and setting a diet plan, along with a food journal, I was able to see exactly where changes needed to be made. The exercise with Amy completes the goals for living healthier. It did not come easy, but with the encouragement from the staff, you learn to love the gym. I do workout and feel so much better and the inches are falling off."

If you would like information about the MedSave InCharge Wellness Program, contact Aimee Imhof at MedSave Family Pharmacy.