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Planning Ahead for Success in 2012 — Success, Happiness, and Health Care

Research has repeatedly shown that people who write down their goals are much more likely to meet them. As we wrap up 2011, and head into 2012, I invite you to write down your goals for the new year, as they relate to your health and self-care. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

• Choose from the following list of self-care behaviors, and try one each week, or each month:

o Learn how to meditate.

o Go to a yoga class.

o Eliminate sodas/pop from your diet.

o Get a consultation with a psychiatrist if you think medication might help your depression or anxiety.

o Find a new doctor if you don’t like the one you have.

o Get your hormones tested.

o Find out what low glycemic eating is all about.

o Take an afternoon to go on an “artist’s date” – do something that fuels your creativity, delights your senses, and brings you joy.

o Cook at home, twice as often as you do now.

o Rearrange your schedule so that you actually are getting enough sleep (eight hours, please).

o Get some practice with boundary-setting. Start small. Say “NO” to someone or something you don’t want to do. Be clear and firm. Do not apologize. Applaud yourself.

o Walk for 30 minutes after dinner, every night. Walk with a friend or loved one, and double the benefit.

o Call a friend you haven’t seen or spoken to in months.

o Read something more meaningful than People magazine.

o Stop watching the news right before you go to bed. Better yet, put yourself on a “news diet” for an entire week.

o Go to therapy.

o Keep a journal.

o Stop conning yourself that French fries are a vegetable.

o Go to a farmers’ market, and buy one weird, unusual, or new vegetable or fruit that you haven’t tried before; ask the farmer how to prepare it.

o Have sex more often, with yourself or someone you love.

o Consult with a professional, inCYST-trained dietician.

o Start a gratitude practice. Every morning when you get up, write down five things that you’re grateful for. Do the same every night. Try not to be repetitive.

o Tell someone in very clear terms precisely why you value them.

o Reduce your caffeine intake.

o Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate.

• Share your list with a friend, and ask her to serve as an accountability buddy for you. Her job is to ask you each week, “Did you do what you intended to do? Why or why not? How did it feel to do it? Are you going to keep doing it?” If you’re feeling brave, blog it, post it somewhere in your house or office, or share it with your FaceBook friends. Accountability is an amazing thing in helping us adhere to our goals.

• Be gentle on yourself if you fail, are slowed down for some reason, or give up on some aspects entirely. Life is full of hazards, roadblocks, and other impactful situations. You cannot control them; you can only adapt.

Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. is a Health Psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. She has completed the inCYST training. She specializes in counseling women and couples who are coping with infertility, PCOS, and related endocrine disorders and chronic illnesses.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. HOUSE or her practice, or obtain referrals in the Los Angeles area, please visit her website at, or e-mail her at You can also follow her on Twitter

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Planning Ahead for Success in 2012 — Success, Happiness, and Health Care + love