Setting Your Sights on Sites

By Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

Early in December I wrote about a fabulous site called “The Day Zero Project.”  Apparently, I am not the only one who thought it was fabulous.

It appears that it originated in New Zealand a few years back.  The company overview, as stated on its Facebook page, is:  “Day Zero started out in 2003 as a simple way to collate lists people had created for their 101 Things in 1001 Days projects. Today it has evolved into a community website where people post their goals and get inspired by the ideas and challenges of others.”  It certainly has.

Shortly after writing my blog entry, the site, “dayzeroproject.com” went down.  As it turns out, traffic to the site had become too heavy for their server to handle.  (Note:  It is highly unlikely that those two things – my blog entry and traffic to the site – are related in any way!)  The creator of the site posted an entry on Facebook that was reassuring to those who have availed themselves of the site’s motivational format.  He said: ”I am very dedicated to this project and have a lot of plans to make the site even better in 2011. I understand this has come at a terrible time as many people are working on their goals for the New Year, but keep writing your lists and you will be able to post them online when the site returns.”  People seemed delighted and relieved to hear this news.  Fortunately, some of the site’s participants printed out copies of their lists so they can still keep crossing off their “goals achieved” while waiting to make these entries official on the site.

It is exciting to know that so many people have immersed themselves in goal-setting – from grandiose travel dreams to nice “walk in the rain” dreams.  However, the Day Zero Project is not the only site out there.

Another one of my favorites is “Couch to 5K,” or, C25K.com.  This site has a program to take you from couch potato to a 5K runner (jogger?) in 9 weeks.  When I went to this site’s page on Facebook, I was surprised to discover how many of my “friends” have been participating.  Like the “Day Zero Project,” the goals contained within this plan are little increments – so subtle that your success almost sneaks up on you!

And this is, after all, the way goal-setting works.  Sure, you can courageously state that you are going to get rid of all of your unhealthy habits in 2011.  ABC’s “Good Morning America” has an ambitious list on their site, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/healthy-years-resolutions/ or, “Five Health Goals for 2011 and How to Meet Them.”  These goals are:  1.   Lose weight;  2.  Eat better;  3.  Quit smoking;  4.  Exercise;  and 5.  Take preventive measures.  Whew!  These are wonderful goals, but are they too lofty, or are there too many? These 5 goals can actually be broken down, or coupled with others on the list.  For instance, if losing weight is a goal, then that can be coupled with exercise and eating better.  And, before you begin any weight loss regimen, you should get a checkup from a physician (i.e. #5 on the list, “Take preventive measure,” or know your numbers).  By coupling these items, once again, the success of reaching your goals will be incremental.

A new year is just that – a time for renewal.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start, the proverbial clean slate.  If none of the above sites appeal to you, search around.  There are many sites that are advocates for you to help you achieve your goals, and in the process, your dreams.

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