Like so many of us, I used to make resolutions. But, I’ve learned that behaviours don’t change at the stroke of midnight, and too many resolutions only lead to disappointment and not real change. Resolving to make healthy changes (dietary or lifestyle!) is a good thing, and setting a “start date” can work well for some things, but don’t invest all of your will power into January 1st! Want to make real, lasting changes? Read on.
1. Take inventory of what’s working and what’s not. If you’ve made changes that are working, take note of them and give yourself a pat on the back. If something isn’t working, figure out where it sits on your priority list and make a plan to change.
2. Set reasonable goals. Want to lose weight? Great! But, don’t expect to drop 50 lbs before your sunny vacation in February. Research tells us that losing 1-1.5 lbs per week is the best way to ensure success. Losing weight too quickly can trigger a slow down in your body’s metabolic rate which will hinder any weight loss. Use the “SMART” acronyn when goal setting: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely”.
3. Small changes can lead to big things! Don’t discount small changes such as giving up cream in your coffee or taking a daily multivitamin. It all adds us!
4. Make it a team effort. Do you and your spouse buy most of your lunches? Why not commit to making lunches? You can safe money and be guaranteed a healthier lunch. Take turns with lunch duties!
5. Remember that every day is a new day. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or slide into old habits. Write your goals down, share them with others and reflect on why you wanted to change them in the first place. It’s ok to make mistakes!
Happy New Year – and may your resolutions last all year long.