An exercise in goal-setting


Do you have a life list? Maybe you should. So many people do. A life list spells out 20 or 50 or 100 things you want to accomplish before you die. “Learn to speak French.” “Sail across the Atlantic.” “Teach your grandchild to windsurf.

There are whole books of life lists. “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” by Patricia Schultz, is one of the most popular. And there are social networking Web sites - - where you can post your life list and read other people’s life lists, from which you are allowed to steal.

Normally, I am not one to jump on a trend. A tiny section of my brain is still waiting to see if mobile phones catch on. But creating a life list is a good trend and a smart idea, especially if you use it to list Healthy Lifestyle goals - things to do before you die that focus on the development of your body, your mind and, yes, your spirit.

Why bother? Because setting goals - and then checking them off, one by one - is a great motivator. It will keep your eyes on the prize. It will focus you on the essence of fitness, which is less about lung capacity and more about your capacity to create and enjoy a healthy, happy, balanced life.

So get out a pencil and paper and make three columns: Body. Mind. Spirit. It’s OK to start small. Just list five things under each column. Your life list must be a reflection of your own wishes and dreams, not anybody else’s. It requires you to go within and wait patiently to see what comes up. It may take more than one sitting. It may take weeks. So what? Take the time you need. Be specific. Aim high. At the same time, be realistic. It’s no fun if you can’t keep checking stuff off the list. Here are some ideas to help you get the juices flowing.

  • For your body

Learn to tango. Get a monthly massage. Run a half-marathon. Stop eating red meat. Study with a yoga master.

  • For your mind

Meditate daily. Learn a new language. Do crossword puzzles. Turn off the TV. Study with a yoga master.

  • For your spirit

Help the less fortunate. Let go of anger. Donate to worthy causes. Express gratitude. Study with a yoga master.

  • Chew on this: One reader’s story about vitamin c

This e-mail arrived a while ago and I debated whether or not to run it. Taking megadoses of vitamin C is a touchy subject. It works for some people and it doesn’t work for others. This is true of many things in life, and especially true when it comes to nutrition and healing. Most doctors know nothing about nutrition, so it’s no wonder they dismiss something so essential and important as vitamin C. So in the end, I decided to offer up Randall’s story.

I would like to see you investigate vitamin C megadoses and Linus Pauling. To make a long story short, most doctors pooh-pooh that approach, and I’ve been told not to bother by many as they wrote another antibiotic prescription. Gum problems have cost me thousands over the years in doctor bills and supplements. Faced with losing teeth, I upped my C intake from 5,000 to 25,000/day. In a few days the pain was gone, and I’m still chewing grass-fed-beef steaks. I have never seen such healing from any substance.

For 9 bucks a pound, megadose C could save millions of teeth, especially in smokers, and it is supposed to cleanse arteries. No wonder that info is suppressed. It would put doctors and periodontists out of business. In fact, I believe it is the solution to our healthcare crisis!

  • R.L., Live Oak, Fla.
  • Energy Express-O: C'ing is believing

“It is fortunate that vitamin C is not a drug - it is an orthomolecular substance, normally present in the human body and required for life, and it has extremely low toxicity. You do not need to have a physician’s prescription or the approval of the medical establishment to use it in the best way to improve your health. Your knowledge may even be greater and your judgment better than theirs.”

  • Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winning scientist, vitamin C advocate

Marilynn Preston is a fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues. She welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to