My Focus on Fitness | Camo Strip (top)
My Focus on Fitness | Camo Strip (bottom)

Happy New Year!

My wish for 2012 is for each of my clients and for those of you reading this column is to make at least one change in your life that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle.  I know that most of you are resolving to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, or change an unhealthy habit like finally putting down the cigarette.  The most effective way you for the achieve any of these goals or any goal for that matter begins with taking the time to write down your goals with an end date, develop your plan of attack, and get started.  If you are having a hard time defining goals when it comes to weight loss, diet, or fitness, please contact me for a complimentary meeting today.

From time to time I come across an article I find so valuable that I must share it with my clients and those around me and in this particular case I thought the information might help you as you set your resolutions for 2012.  This article by Bronnie Ware titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying has made  an impact on people all over the world, has been translated into numerous languages, and continues to break down cultural barriers.  Bronnie recounts and shares her experiences working in end of life care and describes what she learned from her patients in their final weeks.  There were five main lessons she took from her experience;

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. “This was the most common regret of all”, describes Ware.  “When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.”
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. Ironically this was a sentiment echoed by most of her male patients who wished they hadn’t missed so much of the children growing up and their spouse’s companionship.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. Ware found that “many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.  Bronnie found that her patients missed their friendships. They expressed how friendships had been lost over the years due to busy schedules and wished they had kept in touch so that they could say goodbye.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier. Ware was surprised by this the most and describes how many of her patients did not realize that happiness is a choice until the end.

In conclusion, Ware says, “Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously.  Choose wisely.  Choose honestly. Choose happiness.”  So whatever your resolution may be I suggest you take the advice from those now longer with us and choose what you feel is healthy for you, your family, your time, and I am sure it will lead you in a healthy and happy direction.

Bronnie Ware is a writer and songwriter from Australia, who spent several years as a caregiver for dying people.  Based on this article, she has recently released a full length book, also titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  For more information about Bronnie’s work, please visit her official website at www.bronnieware.com and her blog at www.inspirationandchai.com.

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