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The Second Step

How To Achieve Difficult Goals

They say that recognizing a problem is the first step to finding a solution, which is true, but practically meaningless if you never get beyond that first step. Introspection is great - a form of humility, but it has a shelf life. Eventually intention has to translate into meaningful action. Otherwise self-awareness devolves into a convenient excuse for bad behaviour. For example, let’s say you’re a lazy s.o.b. who doesn’t mow his backyard lawn - taking responsibility for the weeds and knee-high grass doesn’t really help the neighbours (or your wife and kids) who have to look at it. It is (apparently) not endearing.

A difficult problem, such as long-time weight gain, frequently requires outside help. It was I and I alone who made changes to my diet and exercise routine in order to conquer my obesity. But I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife and family, information on nutrition and fitness and finally the help of a personal trainer. And I would not have been able to continue to to be healthy the past eight years without this network of support, which includes family and friends but also expert consultants such as doctors, trainers and fitness instructors and many of the other experts you hear from in Tonic.

It is the second step in the process - finding the help you need to achieve your goal that really determines whether you’ll succeed. I like to think of Tonic as helping to facilitate that second step - a resource for my readers to obtain information and find the help they need for the problems they want to solve. Over the years Tonic readers have told me that the magazine is a valued health and wellness resource. Which, of course, is extremely gratifying. But I think it’s time that Tonic steps up our game and more proactively helps you fulfil your goals.

To that end: Last month, in this column, I spoke of a big project that I’m working on. The project, which is an event, will focus on the achievement of health and wellness goals. Through social media,  guests of the event will be encouraged to declare their goals, thereby creating accountability (which I believe is a great motivator). But the key component of the event will be the new and unique approach to the crucial “second step”; how people can access the information and expertise necessary in order to achieve their health and wellness goals. In the coming months I’ll disclose more details about the event that I’m convinced will facilitate meaningful positive change for a great many people. Next month I’ll discuss how engagement through experience plays a crucial role in goal fulfillment.

In the meantime, please do enjoy the October issue of Tonic. I highly recommend Bryce Wylde’s article on fighting the flu (p. 36); Lisa Cantkier’s piece on gluten-free food labeling (p. 39) and Joel Thuna’s writings on dealing with stress (p. 45). As always, if you want to talk to me about Tonic, feel free to email me at Jamie@tonictoronto.com .