Resolutions Be Gone
Happy New Year!
Welcome to a new beginning of resolutions that will make our lives more perfect and get us in the best shape of our lives, right? From this point forward we vow to eat carrots and brussel sprouts, exercise 3 hours a day, sleep 8 hours a night, find more work/life balance, and improve our money picture by thousands of dollars! Whewwww, that sounds exhausting and overwhelming.
It happens every year. Many, many folks make the resolution to get healthy, lose weight, eat clean foods, save money, spend more time goofing off, sleep better, kick a bad habit, and on and on. And in January they start out with a bang by hitting the gym 6 days a week, do some version of cardio 5 days a week, eating lettuce and celery all day long, stuffing $10 a day in the coffee can, meeting the gang for some fun, and basically stressing themselves into tossing the whole stinking plan out the window in about 3 weeks. And it’s back to what was the “normal” lifestyle until next January 1st.
Honestly, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Resolutions are fine when they become lifestyle changes that are started smartly (is that a word? well, it is now.) and then maintained over the course of the current year and into the next year. But as we have talked about, sometimes the hardest part of any lifestyle change is knowing what to do and how to do it. And along those same lines is deciding what changes we need to make in the first place because change takes effort, time, and energy and we only have so much of that stuff to get us through each day.
So, the first step is to determine what you want to change. What portion of your life do you really need to change? How will changing that one very important ingredient of life make you live a happy and healthy life? Make your list (check it twice) and pinpoint one or two components that you can tackle this year.
Once you have come up with one or two items, focus on how you are going to make those changes and stick to it. Going about it willy nilly and haphazardly can produce results but perhaps a well researched, well thought out plan will yield the best outcome.
Let’s go with the most common New Year’s resolution: lose weight.
This does not stand for “Where’s The Fridge.”
We all know that to lose weight, we need to take in less calories than we burn. Sounds simple but how do we go about reducing those calories and burning more calories?
First, develop a plan and make it one that you can stick to. In other words, determine what works for your comfort level, your life (in terms of commitments, time available, logistics, etc), and your desires. Maybe you are the type that can make small adjustments to your diet such as cutting back on carbs (breads, rice, grains, pastas) or cutting back on fats (butter, oils, fried foods, creams) and thus after you have made those small changes you will start to see those pounds disappear. As time moves on and you reach a goal weight, stick with the new found eating habits and the weight stays off.
On the other hand, you may be the type that needs that structure of a written diet such as Keto, Atkins, South Beach. Those diets do work but keep in mind that once you lose the weight on those avenues, you will have to continue the eating plan in some version to keep the weight off. It is still a lifestyle change with new eating habits; just make sure you like the new habits otherwise you may return to the routine that put the pounds on in the first place.
You could be the person who needs the guidance of a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Those programs do work if followed but again, the changes made will have to continue in some form in order for the waist line to stay at it’s new found smaller version. (One of the often unseen benefits of these written diets or programs is that they can teach you how to eat in a manner that will keep the weight off; many people lose the weight on the diet/program and then go right back to eating unhealthy, then they wonder why the weight came back.)
Do your homework on whatever it is that you want to change. Determine out what method works for you and what can you live with on a long term basis. And remember, small steps in the beginning will give bigger results in the end.
So, resolutions be gone! We are making lifestyle changes that will last over many new years!
Until next time, go be healthy.
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