Monica CullinaneGrand Junction Free Press Health & Wellness Columnist

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January 10, 2013
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CULLINANE: Achieve your health goals this year

Many of us begin the new year by making resolutions or intentions. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with our family, learn something new, or quit smoking. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. According to a study by the University of Scranton, people who made a New Year's resolution were far more likely to keep it than those who have similar goals, but did not. By July, for example, 46 percent of people who made resolutions continued to be successful compared to only 4 percent without a resolution. One of the components to that has to do with your willpower, with that fire of really wanting to attain it, with the power to take action and to do the work it takes, with a desire to be in a place physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually that is far more beneficial to you. Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom or bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car. Read them every day, reminding yourself of the vision you have for the "New You." 2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Is your job or relationship stressful, causing you to overeat and skip exercise because you are too exhausted?3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.4. Share your resolutions with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more often, have a friend call you two or three times per week to check on your progress or invite them to join you.5. Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose 1 pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage for example.Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year's resolutions? How do you plan on keeping your New Year's intentions? I would love to hear what works for you, so if you have any comments please let me know.If you are ready to explore or to take action, check out my FREE seminars that will guide you in clarifying the areas of your life that needs more attention, that will remind you what is really important to your life and your health and will motivate you to commit or recommit to your deepest heart's desires.Monica Cullinane, certified health coach, has a private practice coaching clients on how to reach their goals for health, weight loss and stress reduction. Additionally, she teaches yoga, presents workshops and lectures on living a healthy balanced life. She is available for a FREE initial consultation at the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado ( Call 970-245-6911 to schedule appointment.

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The Post Independent Updated Jan 10, 2013 03:23PM Published Jan 10, 2013 03:21PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.