Wellness Goals in the New Year – Weight Loss-Best Diet
by Lisa Metzgar, PhD
With the drop of the ball in Times Square marking the arrival of another New Year comes the tradition of making resolutions. The beginning of 2009 gives us the opportunity to start fresh, forgive the past, and look forward to great success in the New Year.
Most of us resolve to lose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier. We all know what we need to do to achieve these goals and yet year after year we often look back on the past and have to resolve again to meet these goals. Why is it that we are contently having to make the same resolutions year after year?
It is easy to read books, get great healthy recipes, even get a health club membership. But what will make you want to follow the advice, cook the meals, and actually go to the gym? It is easy to sit down at the New Year and write a list of lofty goals and even follow through for a few weeks. Why is it we lose the momentum and quickly go back to making excuses and justifying our bad habits? The key is finding our true motivation and having accountability.
There is usually a lack of motivation after a few weeks or the stresses of everyday life throw us right back into our old ways. If you don’t have anyone to keep you accountable to your goals, it is easy to start justifying and making excuses.
If you want to get on track with your health and wellness goals this year then try these steps:
1. Sit down with your whole family to write your goals. It is hard to stick to goals if nobody in your family is also willing to shift. Make contracts to keep each other accountable. This would be a great lesson in success for your children.
2. Write SMART goals.
R-Relevant (must mean something to you)
Example: I will lose 20 lbs in 6 months. I will do this because I want to reduce my risk of diabetes which runs in my family so I can be around longer for my daughter.
This is a realistic goalÖI give myself enough time to do it in a healthy manner, it means something to me to be healthy for my daughter and it is an attainable goal, and it sets my goal weight in a healthy range.
3. When you have your list of goals, write down how your life will look once you have reached each goal. Be very specificÖhow you will look, feel, activities you will participate in…/p>
4. Now write down 1 or 2 small action steps for each goal. Start small! Make it very easy and something you can start immediately. If you make it too big or give too much time there is always something that will get you off track. Example: One of my vices is to drink cafÈ mochas. One of my first action steps to losing 20lbs. was to cut back to 1 mocha a week. Giving up mochas all together would seem like a punishment. To make it easy for me to stick to this goal I bought a gift card for $20 for the month. I could only use the card to pay for the mocha. Now I could have used it all in one week but in my mind I wanted to make that card last all month. I made myself accountable by coming up with a plan to sticking to my goal.
You might want to exercise more. Try buying yourself a pedometer and contract with yourself and your family to do a certain number of steps per day. You might find yourself parking at the far end of the parking lot, walking your child to school instead of driving, or just taking short walks around the block to make your daily quota. RememberÖevery step counts! You don’t have to go out and walk 5 miles in one shot to make a difference. Every step you do adds up at the end of the day. Get your children a pedometer and see how they step up to the challenge! They are great motivators! It is a great way to get the family together.
If you want to eat better, start cutting out fast food, restaurants, and prepackaged foods slowly. Keep a food diary for a week and highlight all the foods that fit into this category. Then decide what you want to start eliminating, one at a time. You don’t want to put your family in shock by changing everything at once. Here are a few ideas to save timeÖ Look online or in cookbooks for easy recipes if you don’t have a lot of time to cook, steam vegetables instead of eating canned, buy cut up vegetables to save time, cook extra so you can freeze leftovers for those nights you don’t have time to cook, cut up extra lettuce to store for a fast and easy fresh salad, and pack a lunch instead of buying.
Hiring a coach can help you find your motivation and stay on track with your goals.
Here’s to your best year yet!
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