Resistance. Resilience. Balance. Strength. Flexibility.

These are the qualities we require to live a long, healthy and contented life. Chances are, we will live a long life. Our life expectancy is increasing and so are our expectations. We demand more of ourselves and we are prepared to give more of ourselves. We continue to seek out new challenges and invite new opportunities.

How do we gain and maintain these qualities of mind and body to enable us to continue to live fully?

The term retrofit means the addition of new technologies to old structures or the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity. The structures may or may not be vulnerable.

At the start of the New Year, new beginnings seem freshly possible. Everyone is busy making New Year’s resolutions, despite the fact that the well-meaning resolutions will most likely be abandoned by month’s end.

I don’t make resolutions. I make plans. A goal without a plan is just a wish. A goal, well executed over the long haul is a lifestyle.

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions when I realized I was making the same resolutions every year. I didn’t abandon my resolutions, I simply changed my perspective. I stopped considering my resolutions as projects with a specific end date and started seeing them for what they were: healthy habits to balance mind, body and spirit; ever adapting plans of action to build resistance, resilience, balance, strength, and flexibility in all elements of my life.

What’s my plan? It is simple, specific and measurable. It involves dates on a calendar and activities and events adapted to fit my current schedule and priorities. It includes a structured, manageable schedule of exercise, family activity, meditation, prayer and nutrition with a focus on excellent sleep hygiene. It builds on the cumulative benefit of adding healthy habits and mostly ignores restriction.

Its more vegetables and less meat. More tea and less wine. More walking and less sitting. More face -to- face and less Facebook. More thoughtfulness and less reaction More giving, less expectation. More compassion and less fear. More love, less indifference.

No matter how diligently we plan, we know we can’t control our lives completely. But without a plan it is impossible to maintain the health and vitality we need to face the seismic changes that a long life brings. Make a plan. Write it down. Add it in.

Here’s to good health and peace of mind in 2019.

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