Originally created 01/01/02

Age old question

Dear Readers: Happy New Year!

Health is not only about being physically fit and feeling good, it is also about emotional, mental, spiritual and social well being. As we begin the new year, let's take a moment to reflect on those things that help us meet the goals of being healthy in all those areas.

Ask yourself, "What is it that makes my life both enjoyable and worthwhile?" Also, "How am I contributing to make this world a better place?" Or, "How do I show others that I appreciate all they do to help make me feel loved?"

With the events of Sept. 11 still fresh in our minds, it is important to take this opportunity to reflect on our lives and plan for the future. I recently met Karin, an international student from Estonia. Karin worked for the government in Estonia and is now in Georgia preparing to graduate with a master's degree. She plans to return home in June.

Although Karin has been successful, she has greater aspirations for herself and her daughter. Karin believes that being a well-rounded individual is perhaps the best recipe for a happy and successful life. She makes an effort to include social and spiritual activities with her academic studies.

Karin shared with me her plan for success, which has come from her experiences. I would like to share that with my readers today because I believe it has much to offer us when trying to achieve holistic health.

First, says Karin, you must continue to dream - no matter your age or current status in life. You must not settle for less than what you want.

Next, trust that you can achieve your dream. If you believe that you can indeed stick to your exercise program in this coming year, you are more likely to achieve your goal.

Don't let others discourage you in your efforts. Make a list of priorities and place it prominently in your home. Look at it daily and remind yourself that it is possible.

Last, rely on a strong network of friends, family members and colleagues to help make your dreams come true. If you don't have a strong network, make building one your top priority.

No, there is no secret formula to weight loss, a successful life or even complete health. Do your best to address your strengths and weaknesses in physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and social health to make the most out of this next year. Focus on your weaknesses, but remember your strengths. Remember to dream, trust that you can achieve your dream, and don't forget to rely on those who are dear to you.

In the same way, support them in their dreams. It is only when we help one another that we can say that we truly are a community.

If you have a question or would like additional information, please write to Shirley McIntosh, Resource Center on Aging, 2803 Wrightsboro Road, Suite 51, Augusta, GA 30909.


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