Map Out Your Resolution Plan

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be difficult. One reasons is that we view our goals as one big task. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with an ambitious target like losing 30 pounds, or finding a new job. Frustration from not seeing progress quickly enough can derail our best intentions.

So, try this: break down your resolutions into lists of smaller monthly goals. Rather than writing down or making a mental note to get a new job, start with reviewing and updating your resume in January. In February, you might try exploring job search methods. In March, start making connections with people and organizations that will assist you in your search. Spend April sending out resumes or taking steps that will increase your visibility among important decision makers.

This exercise will help you think through the steps it will take to achieve your goals, and you’ll rack up small successes that will give you the confidence needed to follow through on your resolutions.

Meditation Better Than A Vacation

While reviewing research about the benefits of Yoga and meditation, Harvard Health blogger Dr. Monique Tello found a study that reinforces the notion that the effects of Yoga and Meditation are similar to a vacation, but they last longer.

91 female volunteers were split into three groups: new meditators, experienced meditators and women on vacation. For both groups of meditators, the week-long experiment included meditation, Yoga and self-reflective exercises. The women on vacation spent their time listening to health lectures and doing fun outdoor activities.

At week’s end, all three groups showed statistically significant improvements related to stress and depression. But ten months later, both groups of meditators still showed significant improvement, while the vacationers were back to baseline. This supports other findings that indicate the effects of vacation are only temporary, while mindfulness therapies have long-term benefits.

The Performance Boosting Power of Massage

We rarely feel muscle tension as it slowly builds up. The resulting discomfort can appear suddenly and interfere with our ability to focus. Therapeutic massage reduces stress, pain and muscle tension. It helps address anxiety, headaches, digestive disorders, as well as neck and lower back pain caused by sitting at a desk for long hours. And, it boosts brainpower and increases productivity.

A growing number of executives and employers are capitalizing on the benefits of massage as studies show it enhances performance. contributor Raquel Baldelomar writes that massage sparks creativity by freeing the mind, opening it to those all-important “aha moments.” Research also shows that getting massages regularly can boost your immune system by increasing the activity level of white blood cells that fight viruses. A strong, healthy body supports high performance.