It is here! Time to ring in the New Year. Our kids have been asking us why there are so many TV commercials and radio ads touting the latest diet plans. Because, it’s here! Time to lose the holiday weight! Members of our local Y have been discussing how busy it will be for the next 2 months as everybody tries to restart their New Year Resolutions. It’s here!
Make this year your year! If you plan to start a new exercise program or meal plan, truly set up a plan. You must plan for success. The problem that’s universally noted with our resolutions to start each year is that they are short-lived. This year, launch your resolution with a contingency plan. Plan for barriers and for methods on how you will overcome those barriers. You know life will throw you a curve that could sabotage your plans. You may have already experienced this in the past. So get ready for it. How do we do that?
1. Make yourself accountable. Write down your goals and how you will go after them. Simply saying you want to lose weight by exercising more may not get it done. Instead, pick the days of the week and times that will fit your schedule. Set up an exercise routine. Schedule it on your calendar just as you would any other important task or appointment. AND, set up a back up plan just in case your first choices don’t work or life happens and you can’t exercise that day or time.
2. Set goals that you can reach but will also challenge you. Setting goals too difficult to reach may set you up for failure. Setting goals too easy to reach will not force you to change. If you have never cooked before, are you going to be able to set a cooking goal to improve your diet? Evaluate your diet, or schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to get some ideas on what you may need to change to better meet those meal planning goals. For instance, you may only need to add a piece of fruit to your meals everyday. Sounds easy but if you are not into eating fruit, you may find it difficult. Pick a fruit, make sure you have enough on hand and plan the meals to which it will be added.
3. Regularly evaluate your progress. If something’s not working the way you want it to, change it up and try a new approach. Don’t give up on it. Businesses follow this model routinely. The Plan-Do-Check-Act set allows them to evaluate their goals and see how it is moving along. It’s not an all or nothing approach. Remember, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!” . Change is about trying new things. In effect, we are experimenting with ourselves. We have the rest of our lives to integrate changes. It doesn’t have to be today!
4. Stay Positive! Our wish for each of you is to be able to experience what successful change is all about. One of the best ways to do that is to keep an upbeat approach. We know that we are not living in an overly optimistic time period right now. With the problems we face on a day to day basis, it can make it hard to find the good that life has to offer. One of our favorite quotes, which is credited to Patricia Neal, addresses this: “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” Life will bring us good days and bad, sunshine and rain, laughter and tears. We can’t always control the happenings in life but we can control how we react to them. Smile often and make that part of your daily routine! No matter how bad off we feel or think we have it, there is always somebody else out there worse off than us. We all need to extend our hands and our hearts to help others!
We want to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year! This is your year to shine. Don’t let anything stand in your way!
~It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
~Angie & John