The start of a new year can only mean ONE thing: New Year’s Resolutions! The most common ones involve losing weight, being more active and quitting smoking. These are great resolutions! However, most people fail to reach their goals by the end of the year for a number of reasons.
Sometimes viewing your goals from a different perspective can be helpful. For example, instead of giving yourself a specific amount of weight to lose, set a broader goal such as “I want to have a healthier lifestyle.” With this goal in mind, weight loss and being more physically active are included in this goal. You won’t get down on yourself if you haven’t lost that 20 lbs in 3 months. Remember, diets do not work as they are not sustainable long term. Opting to strive to live a healthier life is a slow process but likely to stick long term.
Set a Realistic Goal
If you know you are 20 lbs overweight, don’t set a 20+lb weight loss goal. Aim for 5 pounds to start. Then if you reach that you feel a sense of accomplishment. Remember, baby steps! You did not put the excess weight on overnight. It will take time to take it off.
Have an Action Plan
If you just say to yourself, “I will work out 3 days a week” but don’t have the days or the times or the actual physical work planned out, you will find excuses for skipping the workout.
Find someone to join your journey that has similar resolution. Having a partner is key to sticking to a workout program. They can keep you accountable, while you get to do the same for them.
Keep a Positive Mindset
If you call it a diet, it makes you feel like if you eat a slice of pizza that you’ve failed this short term commitment. Call it a lifestyle change to eating better. That way if you have a slip up you won’t be so hard on yourself internally.
If your planned meal is already ready for you, you don’t have to worry about cooking a meal when you get home from work. Save time and energy and reduce your chances of unintended snacking by doing meal prep for the week ahead of time. Plan out your meals for the week and make a shopping list and stick to it. Slice a bunch of veggies and fruits for ready on-the-go snacks. Carve out some time on your day off making your weeks meals ahead of time and then freezing them.
If you are trying to quit smoking or lose weight, do not keep the cigarettes or processed foods and sugary snacks in the house. When a craving strikes it will be easier if that cookie isn’t staring you in the face. Try to avoid situations that can trigger you.
Do Not Give Up!
None of us are perfect. We all slip up. Try not to focus on the one day you smoked 5 cigarettes. Give yourself credit for the 3 days prior that you did not. Studies show that it can take an average of 17 tries to actually kick the smoking habit.
Celebrate the small wins. Maybe there is a really cool album you want or a cute scarf you saw. Set yourself a small goal along your long journey and when you reach it, reward yourself. It can help to motivate you and yield a sense of accomplishment.
No matter what your New Year’s goal is, remember that any little change that you do is a positive one. Be the very best you can be!
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About the Authors
Kim Kodzik and her wife have lived in Oakland Park/Wilton Manors area for 9 years. Kim raised two sons who now attend FAU (GO OWLS!), her alma mater. She earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Nursing at FAU and brings over 27 years of experience to the clinic.
Erica Tercha, an Oakland Park local, is married and raises her family right here in Oakland Park. She is a Northeast Hurricane, FAU owl, and has been in retail health for the past 5 years. Erica earned her nursing degree from Barry University and her Masters in nursing from FAU. She helped organize the 1st Light of the World Health Fair and is a PTA board member at North Andrews Gardens Elementary.