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Wednesday, 30 December 2015 09:42

The 2-0-1-6 Plan

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The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the year behind and look forward to the year ahead. A great way to do this is with The 2-0-1-6 Plan. Three years ago, I created The 2-0-1-3 Plan and it resonated with so many of you, so we've done it every year since. Be sure to comment below with your plan.

The 2-0-1-6 Plan is about starting off the New Year with intention, motivation, and accountability for health and happiness. It's okay if some of your items from last year are still on the list this year.

Forward this on to your friends and family and let's see how many people we can get on board to join in. Here's how it works.

2  Come up with TWO actionable and doable healthy living ideas. Be specific. Make them very customized for you. Think about your weakness areas. How do you do in the areas of stress management, having fun, sleeping well, eating healthy, exercising, having nurturing relationships, and living in a nontoxic environment (this can be related to your emotional or physical environment)? Are you pretty good about working out, but don't take any time for stress management? If so, don't put exercise on your list, but rather, put something that will reduce your stress. Commit to work on the areas that receive less of your focus. You will see in the examples below that the ideas are both manageable and quantifiable. Try to be as specific as you can, and don't over-commit. You can always over-deliver.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Meditate for five minutes three days a week first thing in the morning to start the day grounded.
  • Spend less time with those people in your life who make you feel worse about yourself (you can be specific with names, if you want).
  • Do not drink alcohol during the week, only on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Get 7,500 to 10,000 steps at least four days a week (wear a pedometer to track it).
  • Go to bed by 11pm every night so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Make one fun plan a week that makes you happy.

Commit to doing the ZERO "do it now" item. What is the one thing that has been on your list to do for years that you know would benefit you in some way—career, health, relationships, personal—but you just have never done it? Commit to it to do it this year.

This one is really important! So many of you reported in that you did your "0" from last year. Way to go! In 2013, my "0" was to join Toastmasters which I have wanted to do for TWENTY YEARS! I finally did it that year and it has been one of the best things I've done. Setting the intention of doing it at the beginning of the year and stating it publicly helped to finally make it happen! Trust yourself. You know your "0". Let's make it happen this year.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get out of a toxic relationship that has been bringing you down.
  • Make a change in your job if you feel miserable every day. (Sometimes this may not be possible due to financial constraints, but oftentimes even if we believe this to be the case, we do have choices that we have not allowed ourselves to believe in. Now's the time to believe in them and explore them.)
  • Go on the trip you've been talking about taking for years. If your spouse doesn't want to join you, go with a friend, by yourself, or an organized group.
  • Hire a health coach and lose the weight for good.
  • Find a workout regime you like so that you look forward to exercise rather than see it as a chore. For some ideas, read Movement by Gypsy.
  • Join a support group (e.g. AA, Al-Anon, loss, cancer). If you need help, there are groups out there for you. Sharing your pain with others does help.
  • Write your memoir.
  • Volunteer.
  • Take classes.

1  Choose ONE word for the year. Come up with one word that you want to represent you in 2016. Give it some thought because you want it to really encompass what you want for the year. When you have decided on your word, write it out in big letters and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Put it on your bathroom mirror, by your computer, on your vision board, at work, in your wallet. In 2013, my word was "confidence", in 2014 it was "openness", and in 2015 it was "surrender". Below, I say what my new word is.

Here are a few ideas: faith, love, forgiveness, dream, health, peace, strength, hope, play, truth, trust, imagine, and share.

6  Take SIX minutes every day to ground yourself in the day. Whether you want to take the six minutes in the morning, afternoon, or evening, be sure to take them. Ground yourself in the day. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths allowing your mind to free itself from the mental chatter. Set an intention for the day (such as being mindful, grateful, open, strong, playful). Do a ritual if you choose (light a candle, share with your spouse one highlight from the day, write in your journal). I talk more about this in chapter 9, "Losing My Mind(fulness)," of my book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life.

2-0-1-6  Take some time this week and think about your 2-0-1-6 plan. Be sure to comment below and let us know. It is helpful to share it with others to make it more real and to help hold you accountable. I've shared my 2-0-1-6 plan in the comments below. If you want to share some of your plan, but not all of it, that's perfectly fine. Share what you feel comfortable with and keep private what you want.

I look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2016 a year filled with health, happiness, and ... (insert your word here!).

And, of course, if you need help with making any part of your 2-0-1-6 plan happen, 4QL can help you!


Be sure to share your 2-0-1-6 Plan in the comments section below!

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Dina Colman, MA, MBA is an award-winning author, healthy living coach, and founder of Four Quadrant Living. Dina has a private practice helping clients live healthier and happier lives. Her Amazon Top 100 book, Four Quadrant Living: Making Healthy Living Your New Way of Life, guides readers to make healthy living a part of their daily lives, leading to greater health, vitality, and happiness. Contact Dina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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