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Taking Stock of 2010: Your Annual Health Review

Recently by Mark Sisson: 15 Ways to Fight Stress

The time leading up to New Year’s is typically about everything but resolutions – or related reflection. With the seasonal slew of parties, shopping, and travel, resolutions too often emerge spontaneously from the hazy shadow of holiday recovery. Little wonder these last minute, little thought out pledges barely make it beyond the starting gate. Here’s a modest proposal to consider: forget the resolutions (for now). Instead of planning for 2011, take the day (or more) to mull, ponder, scrutinize, dissect, chew on, and generally pore over 2010. Think long and hard – from where you were sitting last January 1st to now. What kind of year was it for your health and overall well-being? (Do I hear applause, sighs, groans?) What were your successes? Your failures? Unfinished business? New or ongoing excuses? (Hint: Brutal honesty and unbridled inquest are key here.) Wherever you are in your Primal journey, this New Year’s Eve there’s a lot to gain from a serious and thorough self-review.

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So, here’s the nitty gritty. Find some time when you can be by yourself (or at least be free from rampant interruption). Take out some paper. Yes, really. Commit to the process. Here’s a PDF you can print off for this very purpose. (Added bonus: it pairs perfectly with the document in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.) Start perusing this year’s story.

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Recall your triumphs and failures in all their revealing detail. Ask yourself what was behind the successes and shortcomings. Look your ghosts in the eye. Submitting yourself to this examination is a crucial step of the process. (You don’t want to be a step-skipper, do you?)

The principle behind the exercise is this: understanding where you’ve been – and how things have worked (or not) in the past – will help you create a more promising agenda as you move forward. On the subject of health and wellness, what did you attempt this past year? Where were you successful in your endeavors? What strategies, relationships, and other aids facilitated that success? Where did you fall short? What about your approach or motivation just didn’t get you over the hump? What excuses did you make? Write ‘em all down – every single one. What choices and situations contributed to your stumbling? What do you think could’ve helped you gain back your traction?