It's that time of year again. We're faced with a fresh new year and we feel obliged to make promises to improve ouselves. However, how many times have you made a New Year's resolution and completely forgotten about it by March or April? If it's happened to you, it's likely because you made unspecific or unrealistic resolutions. For example, let's say your resolution is to eat better and exercise more--both of which are wonderful goals. However, with no specific target or plan, you may be setting yourself up for failure. What does eating "better" or exercising "more" mean? If you don't make your resolutions targetted, they are much less achievable. This year try to make specific goals along with a plan to achieve them.
In January we're bombarded with countless news stories of "cleanses" and "detoxes." After a month-long eating and drinking binge, these drastic measures may sound temping to you. But, quick fixes or radical approaches to weight loss are neither safe, nor long lasting. If you deprive yourself so severely, you'll set yourself up for a binge later on. Avoid falling off the wagon after a strict diet by concentraing on realistic and achievable goals to keep the momentum going all year long.
Here are some examples of realistic resolutions with plans on how to achieve them.
1. I will eat breafkast every morning.
Plan: I'll create 3 different simple morning meals so that I don't have to worry about what to make every day. I'll prepare my breakfast the night before so I'm not rushed in the morning.
2. I will curb my late night eating.
Plan: I will try other tactics to escape my cravings like drinking hot tea, brushing my teeth, or going for a walk.
3. I will exercise 3-4 days per week.
Plan: I will carry my exercise clothes in the car with me at all times. If I can't make it to the gym, I will find other ways to add in activity like taking a walk or doing an exercise video at home.
4. I will cook 1-2 nights per week at home.
Plan: I will plan my meals and select my recipes on Monday morning for the week. I will cook one night during the week and one night on the weekend.
Once you're following a plan, find ways to reward yourself for your hard work (but not with food!). Buy a new exercise shirt or get a massage. In addition, learn to forgive yourself for any mishaps. Resolutions are just goals to help you live a healthier and happier life. Focus on the positive and the rest will fall into place. Happy New Year!