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Setting Long Range Goals for Health

Polly Pitchford - Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I was 9 years old when my Dad suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.  He lived, if you call it that.  Twenty years of convalescing in VA hospitals, Masonic hospitals, and numerous  nursing homes exposed me to a state of existence I care never to see again.  I'm not sure when the awareness took hold that I had a major hand in my own health and wellbeing, but I've spent most of my adult life setting the long range goal of avoiding self-inflicted disease that could land me in assisted living! 

Most of us set short term goals because they are short lived: Lose 10 pounds by the reunion or get toned arms by summer.  Short range goals are effective and they have a fairly high success rate so I'm all for them!   To a point.  Too often we lapse right back to unhealthy behaviors until we set our sights on another event important enough to get us motivated to change...temporarily.

Reflecting on how I've been able to maintain my relatively healthy lifestyle of eating whole foods, exercising, and reducing the extra stressors in my life, I can see four major "boosters" along the way.  Have you ever played any of those racing video games where there's a patch in the road that if you align your "racer" over it it will boost you forward at lightning speed?  Well, that's how I envision these 4 events in my life; 4 milestones that re-energized me to keep doing what I've been doing to reach my long range goal of living well into my 90's with a vibrant quality of life.

  1.  My Dad's ultimate passing after prolonged convalescence
  2.  Starting a family at age 35
  3.  Turning "half a century"
  4.  My mother in law's pharmaceutical stockpile

Believe me, there have been many a short range goals along the way that have helped me tune up my behaviors but it's the unwavering commitment to my long range goal that has kept me living a healthy life that I am grateful for everyday!

What's your long range goal and what short range stepping stones will you take to get there?

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