Wednesday, January 4, 2012


New Year’s resolutions, they’re easy to make, but often difficult to maintain throughout the whole year.
The Sentinel spoke with local experts on the topics of diet, smoking cessation and fitness to hear why starting with small attainable goals that are realistic and specific help to create long-term success.

Eat healthier
Try this: “I will eat at least two servings of vegetables a day.”
Not that: “I will eat healthier.”

Sara Armstrong, health promotion educator at the Center for Good Health said it’s important to be very specific with these types of goals.
“So often people say, ‘I want to be healthier.’ Well, if you had one extra piece of celery at the end of the month, you ate healthier, but was that your goal?”
She recommends goal-setters try for something more measurable such as setting a resolution to drink at least three glasses of water a day or cut out a sugary snack once a week.
Then, as you see success, add another step a couple weeks later.
Armstrong warns, however, don’t try to set a weight loss goal and expect 100 percent success.
“You don’t have control over that,” she said of weight loss. “But you have control over how much you move and exercise.”
For those who need immediate feedback to stay on track with a goal, Armstrong recommends make a chart to track what you’re eating on a daily or weekly basis, or if you want to fix your cholesterol or other numbers, get blood work done to see how you’re doing.

Work out more
Try this: “I’ll work out three days a week for 30 minutes a day.”
Not that: “I’ll work out six days a week.”

Doug Slagh, owner of Snap Fitness on the corner of 120th Avenue and Felch Street in Holland Township, said club memberships at his gym triple in January, February and March, but as the seasons begin to change, many of them drop out.
When gym-goers set a resolution to lose weight or work out more, many times they get too overwhelmed because they sign up and go from zero activity to working out five or six days a week, Slagh said.
“When they don’t work out those five to six days they get frustrated and stop,” Slagh said. Instead, he says start slow, have an exercise regime a few days a week for 30-45 minutes.
“Start creating a habit, which usually takes about 28 days and build from there.”
Then slowly add a little bit to the workout so it’s not an overwhelming task.

Quit smoking
Try this: “I’m going to manage some of my triggers and become aware of why I smoke.”
Not that: “I’m going to quit cold turkey.”

“I wouldn’t set yourself up cold turkey unless you have all your ducks in a row. You’re looking at a hard fall,” Tina Vande Guchte said of quitting smoking.
Vande Guchte works as a personal trainer and smoking cessation coordinator at the Center for Good Health at Holland Hospital.
Instead of setting an ambitious goal of quitting smoking altogether, she advised, make a plan to deal with the stages of quitting and learn the tools needed to become tobacco-free in the long run.
A lot of times, success lies in group support and being realistic about what you can do and the reason why you set the goal in the first place, she said.
Focus on the triggers that make you want to light up a cigarette and the environments in which that most often happens.
Once you do that, you can move on to working to cut down your nicotine intake slowly each day.
“Knowing why you want to stop using tobacco will help you keep the motivation to quit,” Vande Guchte said. “Be realistic — mainly because life happens.”
-The Holland Sentinel

Bloggers' Resolutions (Must Read!)

    While the beginning of a new year is a great time to give your blog a boost, the resolutions listed in this article can actually be used anytime. Whenever you feel like it's time to take your blog to the next level by increasing traffic, creating a better reader experience, or any other improvement you want to make, take a look at this list for inspiration.

    These aren't necessarily quick fixes but rather actual resolutions - changes in behavior - that can help your blog in the long term.

    1. Increase posting frequency
    If you only post once a week, bump that up to 3 times. If you post everyday, try to post twice a day at least three times per week. Every additional blog post provides new content for existing readers to view and new entry points for search engines to help new visitors find your blog. Follow the link to learn all about blog posting frequency.

    2. Respond to More Comments
    Comments are what makes blogs interactive, social and different from static websites. If you only occasionally respond to comments left on your blog posts, try to respond to at least half of the comments you get. If you already respond to most of the comments left on your blog, try to respond to every comment left on your blog. You can follow the links to read more aboutblog comments and blog conversations and communities through comments.

    3. Clean Up Your Blogroll
    A blogroll is a great way to connect with other bloggers, but it's useless (and possibly annoying) to your readers if the links aren't helpful or don't work. Take some time to periodically test the links in your blogroll throughout the year to ensure they deliver value to your readers and actually work. You can follow the link to learn more about blogrolls.

    4. Clean Up Your Sidebar
    If your sidebar is cluttered with too many ads, useless links, and images and information that isn't useful to your readers, you need to delete the unhelpful excess. Take some time throughout the year to check the contents of your sidebar ensuring it's fully optimized to provide value to your readers as well as the results you want. You can follow the link to learn about 15 popular sidebar items.

    5. Learn Something New
    If you want to grow your blog's audience, a great way to do that is to introduce something new to your blog. For example, if you haven't learned how to create a podcast or vlog before, learn how and add it to your blog. You can follow the links to learn how to create a vlog andhow to create a podcast.

    6. Try Something New
    If you don't have time to learn something new, you can still try something new on your blog. Blog contests, guest bloggers, polls, and blog carnivals are just a few suggestions of new things you can try on your blog at anytime. Follow the links to learn more about blog contests,guest blogging, polls, and blog carnivals.

    7. Try a New Promotion Method
    If you want to grow your blog, then you have to take time to promote it. If you haven't been submitting your blog to social bookmarking sites, participating in social networking, using Twitter or another microblogging tool, commenting on other blogs, or participating in forums related to your blog, then you should start! Follow the links to learn more about social bookmarking, social networking, Twitter, increasing blog traffic and free blog promotion.

    8. Network More
    Networking is one of the keys to blog success. As you meet more bloggers, communicate with other people in the blogosphere, and become better known online, your blog will grow. Take some time to use the social networking and microblogging tools available to you to grow your blog indirectly. To learn more about social networking and microblogging, follow the links for more information about Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Plurk and Jaiku.

    9. Enhance Your Blog's Appearance
    The visual appearance of your blog can have a big impact on whether or not visitors stay once they find it or return later. Take some time to evaluate your blog's appearance, and add enhancements or revisions to make your blog look better than ever. You can follow the links to learn where to find free Wordpress themes, where to find free Blogger templates, and where to find free photos to use on your blog.

    10. Upgrade Your Blog's Functionality
    There are a number of ways you can upgrade your blog's functionality. If you're currently using or TypePad, you might want to consider moving to Wordpress. If you're using the free version of, you can switch to and gain a significant amount of additional functionality. If you already use, you can add plug-ins to give your blog a boost. Follow the links to read a blogging software comparison to help you understand the difference between the various blogging platforms available. You can also follow the links to read more about blogging with Wordpress,, Typepad, vs., types of blog hosts and how to choose a blog host.

Three Ways to Avoid Derailing From Your New Year’s Resolutions

    It’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. We make these pledges with the best of intentions, but inevitably, we stray from them within just a couple of months, sometimes weeks.

    By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, most of us can’t even remember what our resolutions were to begin with. Creating a personalized roadmap based on your vision for your career is essential. All too often I come across clients who are chasing someone else’s ideas or vision rather than creating their own. The problem with this approach is that we don’t have real ownership over our destiny and are therefore not committed. The key is making sure that your roadmap is genuinely yours, and that it’s truly attainable. The first step is to make sure your New Year’s resolutions--whatever they may be-- are sustainable. Here are three simple ways to ensure you stick to your resolutions all year long:

    Go big, just don’t go crazy. -
    It’s good to stretch yourself and make goals that force you to go outside your comfort zone, but make sure you are realistic about them. In other words, stretch with purpose. Also, be sure to break your goals into reasonably attainable chunks (or sub goals) so that you can tackle them one at a time. Research has shown that big goals become more attainable when you break them down into bite-sized morsels. To stay on track, set weekly and monthly check-ins to evaluate your progress. It’s OK to get a little off track from time to time, just be sure not to completely derail. It’s important to have measures of success so that you know you are moving forward. Even the little wins can be motivating.

    GPS it! -Don’t fall into the trap of picking a couple of lofty goals and then not planning on how to actually pull them off. It’s easy to pick goals, making them happen is another story. Every destination requires a route to get there. The route you choose is up to you, but you will need a GPS (or a map if you are old school) to guide you along the way. I believe everyone should commit to a plan and a way of checking themselves along the way. If you don’t commit to a destination and plan a path for getting there, you’ll never make it.

    Hold a press conference
    -The best way to hold yourself accountable is to go public with your goals. Share your resolutions and your intent to keep them with family and friends.
-Written by Dr. WoodyPublished January 03, 2012FOXBusiness

By the end of the year, you will feel like being on top of the world. You would jump around like crazy knowing that you have attained all of the resolutions you promised. With that, I bid you good luck and God bless!


  1. Thanks for this. It makes me think if the resolutions I've posted on my site are realistic. Thankfully enough, they are :)) For me anyway :3


  2. Thanks, guys.. Hope these tips work for you too!

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