Set a Date and Get Started – Just Do It!


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Want to improve your health or personal finances?

Set a date to start taking action on your personal goals and then just do it!

Tomorrow always seems like a good day to make positive health and financial behavior changes. It is not uncommon for people to procrastinate and put off taking action like daily physical activity and saving money. Months, even years, go by without making positive changes. Before they know it, they’ve gained 10 or 20 pounds or lost 10 years of compound interest on money that could have been saved, but wasn’t.

There is a better way to change…take the time to prepare properly. First, think about the obstacles that you will face and how you can overcome them. Then set a realistic start date or quit date, depending on your personal goal.

A realistic start date for saving money might be when you receive your next scheduled raise or when an expense, like car loan payments, ends. The savings will be offset by extra income so it won’t feel like you are “losing” money.

It is probably best to make health-related changes, such as eating less and increased physical activity, in advance of or after the holiday season or a vacation. During these times, normal routines are disrupted and the temptation to self-indulge is high. Ditto for setting quit dates, such as quitting smoking or scaling back high-calorie desserts or snacks.

The timing of a start date or quit date is an important factor in achieving success, and with the right motivation, EVERY day is a good day to start!

Research has shown that good dates to start making positive health and financial changes are New Year’s Day or right after a birthday. Experts say that many people reassess the quality of their lives at these times and are receptive to taking action to make desired improvements.

Once you’ve addressed your obstacles and set a realistic start or quit date, the next step is to commit to making a change. Nobody can do this for you. It is something that everyone must do for themself.

Some experts recommend writing up and signing a “commitment contract” and getting it witnessed by others to increase accountability. The contract should include personal health and wealth goals and planned actions to achieve them.

Once you’ve fully committed to make a positive change to improve your health and finances, then “just do it.” Change can only take place after someone has a firm commitment to improve their life and has an action plan.

Ready to get started on the path to good health and increased wealth? Set a date and get started…Just do it!

For additional information, visit the Colorado State University Extension Small Steps to Health and Wealth Web site at www.ext.colostate.edu/smallsteps.

Updated Tuesday, August 05, 2014

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