If you are the person who is out running at 5:00 am every morning, this article is not for you. If you are the person who eats nutritious meals every day, this article is not for you. However, if your New Year’s Resolutions include any part of living a healthy lifestyle, read on.
Every January, people across the country make New Year’s Resolutions. The number one item is, not surprisingly, to lose weight. Over the years, I have learned that this is a recipe for failure. Why? It doesn’t identify anything about how you plan to change your routine, your mind-set, and why it’s important to you. I’d like to help you learn about making resolutions with solutions, so that you can actually be successful. People often fail because they did not identify what it is they actually want to accomplish when it comes to their health.
Let’s treat this like a journey, not a destination. It’s not something you achieve and cross off your list. Some important items to help make you successful include: creating specific goals, planning a road map and preparing for those bumps and wrong turns that may occur along the way. Creating your goals is the first step. It is also the most important step.
Keep in mind that you are creating YOUR goals. They are individual, like you. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is a one-size-fits-all solution. I have found that a helpful plan when making your goals is using the S.M.A.R.T. program. It stands for Simple-Measurable-Attainable-Reasonable-Time. Here’s how it works. Take the New Year’s Resolution of “losing weight.” Using this program, this goal now becomes “I will to lose 10 lbs. by March 15th.” Now, ask yourself, “Why do I want to do this?” Your reason and motivation is just as important. Maybe your goal is because your doctor suggested it for health reasons or maybe there is an important event coming up that you want to look and feel your best. Whatever the reason, make sure that you want to achieve this goal for YOU. It becomes a commitment to you.
The next step is planning a road map. How are you going to get there? Think of it like jumping in the car and taking off. Would you ever consider taking a road trip without knowing where you are going? Your road map is the map to the success of your goals. Taking the goal of losing weight; decide what needs to be done to start on the right path. Divide your goal into smaller parts; for example, nutrition and exercise. Taking the time to plan healthy and nutrition meals and snacks is essential in losing extra pounds.
When starting an exercise program, start slow. Believe it or not, exercise can be fun. Try a group exercise class or start walking on your lunch hour. By doing activities you enjoy, you will be more apt to continue to stay on the path of your goal. Write down what you plan to do each day and stick with it. Starting an exercise regimen every January and stopping it every February can become a habit. That is why many times the same New Year’s Resolutions show up on the list year after year.
The path towards successful goals is also filled with bumps and detours. There will be times when you fail to follow your plan. You many chose to eat the buttered popcorn at the movies, the toffee leftover from Christmas or both! Try not to fall into the trap of feeling like you have failed and just quit altogether. It’s only a slight detour. Start again the next day, not the next week, but the next day. There will be many times that you feel like quitting, but nothing tastes or feels as good as it is to be healthy! Remember that you don’t cross off living a healthy lifestyle; instead it becomes part of your life. Enjoy the journey!