The 2-0-1-3 Plan

Forget making resolutions, try the 2-0-1-3 plan! The plan is about starting off the New Year with intention, motivation, and accountability for health.

Less than half of Americans make resolutions and just eight percent of them are successful in keeping them. That's why this year it's time to try something new, the 2-0-1-3 plan! The plan is about starting off the New Year with intention, motivation, and accountability for health. Forward this on to your friends and family and let's see how many people we can get on board to join in. Be sure to write your plan in the comments section below. Here's how it works.


2  Come up with TWO actionable and doable healthy living ideas. Be specific. Make them very customized for you. Think about your weakness areas. How do you do in the areas of stress management, having fun, sleeping well, eating healthy, exercising, having nurturing relationships, and living in a nontoxic environment (this can be related to your emotional or physical environment)? Are you pretty good about working out, but don't take any time for stress management? If so, don't put exercise on your list, but rather, put something that will reduce your stress. Commit to work on the areas that receive less of your focus. You will see in the examples below that the ideas are both manageable and quantifiable. Try to be as specific as you can, and don't overcommit. You can always overdeliver.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Meditate for five minutes three days a week first thing in the morning to start the day grounded.
  • Spend less time with those people in your life who make you feel worse about yourself (you can be specific with names, if you want).
  • Do not drink alcohol during the week, only on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Get 7,500 to 10,000 steps at least four days a week (wear a pedometer to track it).
  • Go to bed by 11pm every night so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Make one fun plan a week that makes you happy.


0  Commit to doing the ZERO "do it now" item. What is the one thing that has been on your list for years to do that you know would benefit you in some way—career, health, relationships, personal—but you just have never done it? Commit to it to do it this year.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get out of a toxic relationship that has been bringing you down.
  • Make a change in your job if you feel miserable every day. (Sometimes this may not be possible due to financial constraints, but oftentimes even if we believe this to be the case, we do have choices that we have not allowed ourselves to believe in. Now's the time to believe in them and explore them.)
  • Go on the trip you've been talking about taking for years. If your spouse doesn't want to join you, go with a friend, by yourself, or an organized group.
  • Hire a health coach and lose the weight for good.
  • Find a workout regime you like so that you look forward to exercise rather than see it as a chore. For some ideas, read Movement by Gypsy.
  • Join a support group (e.g. AA, Al-Anon, loss, cancer). If you need help, there are groups out there for you. Sharing your pain with others does help.
  • Write your memoir.
  • Volunteer.
  • Take classes.


1  Choose ONE word for the year. Come up with one word that you want to represent you in 2013. Give it some thought because you want it to really encompass what you want for the year. When you have decided on your word, print it out in big letters and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Put it on your bathroom mirror, by your computer, on your vision board, at work, in your wallet. When I turned 40, my word was "authenticity" because I decided it was time to accept me for who I was at my core and be true to that self. The great thing about having a word for a year is that it becomes a part of who you are for life.

Here are a few ideas: faith, love, forgiveness, dream, health, peace, strength, hope, play, truth, trust, imagine, and share.


3  Write THREE items a day in your gratitude journal. I've read about gratitude journals for years and have never done one. I'm pretty good about being grateful in my life, but have never actually taken the time to write them down regularly because I wasn't sure what it would give me (and it seemed like one more "to-do"). I started doing it a week ago, and I'm actually enjoying doing it and am getting a lot out of it. I have a little spiral notebook that sits right on my desk near my computer. Every day, I write down 3 things I'm grateful for. Go find a pad of paper or extra journal and put it somewhere handy. This could be near the entryway, in the kitchen, by your bed, in your office. I write my items toward the end of the day, but find the routine that works for you. You can even make it a family gratitude journal and have everyone write in their entries, or get a separate journal for each person.

In keeping my journal, I've noticed that my husband pops up on my gratitude list daily. I never would have consciously appreciated these little things, but having to think about what I am grateful in a day makes me mindful of all that he does for me. We've been together over 25 years, so I sometimes forget to be grateful for him. It's the little things that have made the list this past week like "having a husband who always secretly fills up my gas tank," "having a husband who exercises," "having a husband who goes out at 10pm to the market to buy feminine products because I'm not feeling up to it and just realized I'm out." I like having gratitude in the forefront of my mind. See if any patterns emerge for you in your gratitude list and let us know.

Changing your perspective is a huge factor in happiness and stress management, and I think the gratitude journal helps with this. It's hard to hold on to anger, resentment, and unhappiness when you are writing down things you are grateful for.

2-0-1-3  Take some time today and tomorrow and think about your 2-0-1-3 plan. Be sure to comment below and let us know. It is helpful to share it with others to make it more real and to help hold you accountable. I've shared my 2-0-1-3 plan in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2013 a year filled with health, happiness, and ... (insert your word here!).

And, of course, if you need help with making any part of your 2-0-1-3 plan happen, 4QL can help you!


Be sure to get your free 47 page Getting Started Guide: Taking Your First Step on the 4QL Journey by signing up for our newsletter. It is filled with a 4 quadrant health assessment as well as health tips for each quadrant including 5 Steps to Mindfulness, 12 Tips for Fad-Free Eating, 6 Ways to Closer Connections, and 9 Ideas to Detox Your Home.

Dina Colman, MA, MBA, is a healthy living coach and writer. She has her Master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University and her MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University. She founded Four Quadrant Living—a simpler, natural, more fun way to a healthier, happier, and energetic life. Four Quadrant Living provides information and motivation for healthy living through nourishment of the four quadrants of our lives—Mind, Body, Relationships, and Environment. Dina has a private practice, working with clients to help them create health in their lives by eating well, finding the fun in exercise, reducing stress, managing relationships, and creating a healthy environment. Dina's book, "You Are Not Your DNA: 48 Simple and Natural Ways to Create Your New Health Destiny" will be published in 2013. Contact Dina at dina@fourquadrantliving.com

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