Written by Alex
For some that means drafting New Year’s resolutions. For others it’s just another month- believing people can make resolutions any time of the year. Whether you subscribe to the former or the latter, I think we can all agree that a little self evaluation for self improvement is a good thing.
I am pro resolution. I make a resolution every year; there is something to the whole “New Year, new outlook” idea that sits in a good place with me. I love any excuse to reflect on my life and see what I could do to make myself happier and healthier.
A study at the University of Scranton shows that 45% of people make a resolution and a whopping 8% of them keep them the entire year. Let’s face it, change is hard, whether it’s good or bad. It’s not easy to change our habits, especially the ones we want to break.
Many of us focus our resolutions or goals on our desire to workout more or to eat healthier, which is no easy feat. Trying to find the time to go the gym is a task in and of itself and we have our favorite foods that may have an emotional connection for us. I for one, have a very deep and profound love of all cheese. Someone could tell me that there are ten bugs in every slice of Brie, and you bet I would say “it’s roughage!” and eat an entire wheel.
Recognizing how daunting change can be, I created a few guidelines to make achieving your health and fitness goals more doable!
1). Write down why you want to achieve your goal. For more energy? To keep medical costs down? To avoid disease and illness? To role model for your children? For confidence? For better mental health? To live longer? All of the above?
2). Know what you will and won’t do. When you make goals for yourself, you have to know yourself well enough to make a goal that works for you, your schedule, and your family. Be honest and realistic.
3). Don’t make your goal too big. Don’t say, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds”- that’s too big. Consider lessening the goal to, “I’m going to lose 5 pounds by April”. Then write down a game plan on how you’re going to achieve the goal. Simply saying with “diet and exercise” doesn’t count. Be specific. What healthy foods are you going to start introducing into your diet? What type of exercise will you do, and how often? The more specific you are about your goals, the more likely they are to happen.
4). Start with what is easy. You can look up how much exercise is recommended, what a healthy plate of food looks like, and how many calories you are supposed to eat in a day. Once you get into a routine, you can increase the amount of exercise and healthier foods into your life.
5). Celebrate the small wins. Achieving your goal will take time and perseverance. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself every day on your progress. Your effort alone is worth celebrating.
If you consider these guidelines and stay honest with yourself, you bet that you will come on the other side of 2015 healthier and happier. I see no harm in that, no matter what day of the year!