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Goal of the Month “Club”

One reason turn-over-a-new-leaf pledges may be soon forgotten is that they bite off too much setting us up to fail. Consider tackling one of these tips at a time and working on that aspect of health until it becomes a habit and then try another. The list below is a just a start and isn’t necessarily in priority order. Pick the one you think might make the biggest change in your health and energy and tackle it first. Or, check off the ones you are already good at and pick another that sounds easy. That way you can build on your successes. In any case, don’t just think about it. Print this out and assign a step to each month. Post the plan where you will see it and remember that a trip of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step.

  • Reduce sugar in your diet. The more you remove, the better you will feel and the less you will crave it.

  • Eat more vegetables. Every study that I review, no matter what the disease focus or overall diet plan, agrees that veggies are important. Frozen vegetables are often as good as fresh and easier to have on hand. Check out the recipe section of this site for ideas.

  • Plan meals a week at a time. A lot of our nutrition indiscretions occur when we are hungry and our survival instincts lead us zombie-like to a vending machine or drive-through window. Twenty minutes a week of planning before going to the market will make sure you have what you need. Having a plan will also allow you to pack your lunch, pull something out of the freezer or turn on the crock pot before you head out for the day.

  • Drink sufficient water. The standard advice is to (1) take the number that equals ½ your body weight in pounds and (2) convert that to ounces per day. (For example, a 150 lb person would drink 75 ounces. See how many ounces your glass holds and you’ll know how many glasses to drink. Some may hold 8 but other standard glasses are 12 or more.) Of course, I’m talking about pure water, not tap water. Measure out the amount for the day into a glass bottle or pitcher and you can see as the day progresses how you are doing.

  • Get 8-9 hours sleep. If you are in the habit of staying up late, go to bed ½ hour earlier each night until you get to the target. Computer work before bedtime makes shutting your brain down harder. If prayers or visualizing a relaxing vacation spot doesn’t send you to dreamland, consider melatonin.

  • Improve your digestion. Chewing thoroughly and being relaxed when you eat are a good start. Probiotics, a fiber supplement, enzymes and adequate water as suggested above all help. As I discuss in my book, it is a very bad idea to shut down digestion with acid-blocking drugs.

  • Get your structure straight. Make a standing appointment for a chiropractic tuneup to make sure you aren’t stressing your body with something out of place. Misalignments can cause interference with nerve supply and/or circulation to almost any body part or system.

  • Reduce stress in your life. You know where it is coming from. Make a plan to get rid of the sources and put in more pleasurable things. At the least, be determined not to let the things you can’t change control you. Don’t forget the little things that add up, like clutter. (I just disabled the annoying ding that tells me I have email.) Pay attention to your breathing. Slow deep breaths from the gut are relaxing and cleansing.

  • Reduce toxic chemicals in and around your home. Substitute natural environmentally safe cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. Use organic pest and weed control—follow the advice of Howard Garrett.

  • Be regular about supplements. Make up packs (in little zip lock baggies) so that you are more regular with your supplements. (These are described in my article on supplements.)The bead department at a craft store is a good place to get the right size baggies. (In my evening packs I put a little clue to remind me to take my fish oil which I keep in the refrigerator.)

  • Take better care of your gums. Gum problems lead to cardiovascular problems and adult tooth loss. Use a Sonicare brush, floss, Waterpik, dissolve a probiotic gel cap in your mouth as you sleep, see a periodontist…whatever it takes.

  • Exercise. I saved this for next to last because advice to exercise is everywhere. Start wherever you are and make gradual improvements. If all you can do today is walk to the mail box, maybe by next week you can get to the neighbor’s. We are reminded less often to do strength training, but it is equally important. You don’t have to go to a gym or even have fancy equipment. Here is our article on the subject and a site with some useful suggestions. Link.

  • Lose weight. This is most likely the New Year’s Resolution made and broken most often. It too can be reduced into steps starting with some of those above. One you might not have thought about is taking probiotics.

“Goal of the month” just implies that a person doesn’t need to tackle everything at once. But, developing healthy habits is a highly individual matter. Some are already close, some might tackle three things at once. In any case, we didn’t get into whatever shape we are in overnight and it is unlikely we can turn things around in a flash. Good luck!


This information is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional. You are urged to seek healthcare advice regarding any illness.

Copyright 2014 by Martie Whittekin, CCN

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