Welcome to another night here at Carol's Corner; my own little spot in the world of blogging. Never thought I would be a blogger, but life has a funny way of directing your path sometimes, and I know without a doubt that this is where I should be , doing what I should be doing. I hope you are glad you found your way here. I appreciate every reader and follower of my blog, and hope that every day I can do something that will inform, inspire, or motivate you to keep on the path to health, wellness, and feeling good about yourself in every way. Today's picture shows me in one of my casual winter outfits, something to keep you warm on this cold winter's day. The sweater looks black, but it really is a very dark green with black in it. Love this pair of boots that I pair frequently with my skinny pants. This is the only type of pants I wear these days , as they just look better on me, now that I can actually call myself thin. Never thought I would utter those words again. I am still amazed when I see pictures of myself. The feeling I get is beyond amazing. I don't ever want to lose that feeling of awe and wonder, and incredible joy I feel , just to start another day. Before I enbarked on this journey last November, I know I had lost some of the zest for life that I had always had, because I really wasn't happy with myself. I know I had kind of given up. I am so grateful that I received a wake up call and decided to take charge of my life and my health. I will probably have to change a few things after this long holiday season, but life is all about changes. I want you my readers, to experience all the truly wonderful things I have experienced and felt as I made my way through a journey that at times can be hard, but in the end the rewards are so great , that you will forget how hard it was to get there. That is what I wish for you in the new year. For today's blog , I am just going to give you more tips that I have found from various sources, to help you reach your goals in the new year coming up. So let's get started on the first group of tips. Tip Number 1: Be realistic. Choose fitness goals that you can reach. Break up your goals into smaller segments. When you reach the first one on your list, you will then feel encouraged to shoot for the next one. After you have set a goal, set a reasonable time frame to achieve it. Say you want to lose 10 pounds in two months. This is a very doable goal, and one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. A one to two pound weight loss per week is one of the most recommended ways to approach weight loss . You may lose more, but by setting resonable smaller goals, you are setting yourself up for success, not failure. This is along the same lines as setting short term and long term goals. They both are important, but if your journey is broken down into doable segments, you won't feel so overwhelmed or discouraged. What's great about setting realistic goals, is that you won't disappoint yourself and give up before you have even started. You might even exceed your goals. How great would that be? Tip number 2 : Make a plan. This is important on many levels. If weight loss is your goal, you need to decide what kind of food plan you want to follow. Research the kind of diet and food plans out there and pick the one that is best for you, but the bottom line is that you have to burn more calories than you take in. Keep that in mind, when you decide how you want to approach weight loss. After you have decided on that, you need to get the types of foods and ingredients that will allow you to stay on course. Here's where having a plan is of utmost importance. If you don't have the right things handy, you're gonna pick up anything, and you'll end up sabotaging yourself. When you have your food plan all figured out, then it is time to plan your fitness goals. Again you have to decide what best fits into your daily life style. Decide what type of exercise you want to participate in, and try to have some kind of loose schedule that will keep you on track. Combining diet and exercise together is a great way to reach the goals you set for yourself. You are sure to lose weight and get a better level of physical fitness. I am quite certain I am way more fit than before, even with certain health issues that will always be there. I know my heart has to be in much better shape along with my lungs. I have much more stamina and feel much stronger. I don't tire as easily. In fact I have pushed myself too much during this holiday season and was at the brink of exhaustion a couple Of times. I then had to just get in bed and not get up till my body let me know I had recovered. Each of you has to become more aware of your body and know it's limits. So plan, plan, plan. Your life will be so much easier. Tip number 3: Do a redo. Redo your home, your workplace , or anyplace that you spend a lot of time. Get rid of junk food and snacks you just can't resist. Replace all the chips, cookies, and crackers with healthier options. Try yogurt, whole grain crackers, and high fiber cereals. And of course you can't go wrong with fruits and vegetables. Have snacks at the ready, so you won't be tempted to go with the wrong thing. Tip Number 4: Make it easy. Try to find ways that you might be able to exercise with friends or family members. Having a workout date with a friend, might make you more apt to keep it. Your friend will reap the same rewards as you, better fitness and better health. Have your workout clothes close by, as a reminder that you need to make time for a workout. In your work environment, find ways to incorporate walking into your day. Take a walk during lunch or break times. I can almost hear Leslie's voice talk about taking a walk. All of you Leslie walkers, can't you? Incorporating walking into your work day may be useful, especially if something pops up that makes it impossible for you to follow your original plans that day. I find that I have been able to put a lot more into this group of tips, so we'll end with one more, and I probably will be able to find some more useful ideas for tomorrow's edition. I didn't actually have to use multiple sources for the ideas here tonight , was just able to expand on them. Last tip of the night. Tip number 5: Make health your priority. We all have hectic work & personal lives that can make doing all the things we need to do to be successful , difficult, sometimes very difficult. One thing that might help you in this area Is to keep a list of all the things you need to do, week by week. To make cooking easier, make a menu for the week, so you can hit the ground running when you do your grocery shopping. Having the right foods at home will cut down on those takeout orders, But if you have to eat out, salads and wraps are healthy options. In fact, after New Years , my salads and wraps have to return to my menu at home. I've been more lax in my food choices in the last three months, and I know I have to change that pretty soon ; not for my weight , but for my health issues. Remember, moderation is your friend. Having dinner out, should not keep you from achieving realistic weight loss goals, it just takes planning. One of the best pieces of advice you should take into the new year, is to take one day at a time. Don't let yourself get frustrated. If you slip up, don't beat yourself up about it , just start fresh, any day or any time of the year. Take the tools you have and run with it. Make the new year, the year you realize your full potential, and the best one ever. So tomorrow, I'll see what else I can come up with to get everyone started making 2015 the year all of you, my faithful readers, realize all your hopes and dreams ; in weight loss , in health, and in fitness. Tomorrow will probably be my last post of 2014. New Year's Eve I will be dressing up and dancing the night away. Stay tuned for pictures on that. My dress was picked out and in my closet, months and months ago. All I have to do is go buy new stockings, and hope my hairdresser shows up tomorrow nfor my dye job & haircut. She comes right to my house. Need both badly. So that's it for this edition of Carol's Corner. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. This really is a labor of love from me to you , my reader's. Till next time, God Bless.