How did you do maintaining your weight over the holidays? It is not easy. If you maintained, you did a really good job! Even if you gained one or two pounds, you can easily work to get back to your weight before the holidays. Now that you have survived the holiday season, it is now time to think about what you can do to be a healthier you for the new year. Many of us struggle with weight issues, in fact statistics suggest that over 60 % of us are either overweight or obese. Many people this time of year begin strict eating or exercise regimes. Some of their goals or regimes may be a little too rigid or unrealistic to maintain over a long period of time. However, most of us want instant gratification and also expect perfection. That is why many of us give up after awhile. My hope for you this year is for goals that you set will work for you in the long run. These tips below are adapted from www.habitsmart.com and Joel Schwarz from University of Washington.
Here are Some Suggestions to Goals for Success
Make goals measurable, realistic, and reasonable.
Change is not “all or nothing”. Each of us varies in our readiness to change, what level we can change at a given time and which habits we are willing to change. Any level of positive change can lead to improved health outcomes.
If relapse occurs, it is important to consider it a learning opportunity and an important stage of the process.
Avoid triggers and high risk situations. Develop several ideas to break the behavior cycle that may lead you to not succeed.
Respect unhealthy habits. Most habits don’t always happen without a reason and sometimes they may be a method to reduce stress, increase someone’s level of socialization, or make an unpleasant task easier. Many of these habits have been around a long time and change can’t happen overnight.
Take up a new passion to replace an old unhealthy habit. Learn to play golf, cook Chinese food, paint, or play a musical instrument. If the old habit served as a method of pleasure, develop new habits or rekindle old ones. This way a new passion will help fill the void of the unhealthy habit and serve as a distraction during the next few days or months when the urge to engage in an old habit is strong.
Have confidence that your goals will be successful and make a commitment to stay with it. Follow up may be necessary long term to stay on the right track.
Keep track of progress, the more monitoring done and feedback received– the more successful the journey.
Persistence pays off, 40% of people succeed after their first try but it may take six more attempts for 17% more to achieve their goal. Don’t give up!
Take credit for your success. Don’t blame yourself for failure but focus on what barriers are in your way to help you achieve your goal.
Don’t keep new goals a secret. Build a support network early. Include positive people to help you. Learn how to deal with those who may prevent your efforts early and discover the best ways to work with them.
A registered dietitian can be a support person to help you achieve your goals for the new year and beyond!