New Year Resolution Check-ins

1 Feb

Can you believe we are a month into 2013?

While I am not a believer in New Years resolutions, I do believe in check-ins and creating healthy, positive habits. Often the new year is a time for people to find the latest fad diet, a quick solution. But, what happens after that time? What does your life style look like in July? November? Are you still living on cabbage soup? I highly doubt it.

Have your resolutions already gone out the window? Setting large goals that are lofty is a great way to crash and burn in no-time flat. It is best to set a very specific goal, for example being healthy enough to run around with your kids and family rather than something lofty, “I want to be skinny.”.

So, what does it take to get there? Identify the steps you are going to take and that it will take to reach your goal. Here are some examples of ways to change your actions into goal-affirming behaviors:

Start cooking. So many of today’s popular diets seem to demonize certain foods and give you a long list of items to avoid. I’d much rather switch the emphasis and celebrate all the wondrous foods you get to embrace – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, healthy fats, lean proteins, low-fat dairy – and find new ways to prepare them at home. Cooking more often is one of the best new habits you can adopt in the New Year.
Be positive. Believing that you can make a change is a powerful force. It’s what behavioral scientists call “self-efficacy.” You’re much more likely to reach a goal if you have the confidence that you can do it. Failing to stick to a restrictive diet plan – or jumping from one approach to the next – may damage your self-confidence, which will just work against you. Have faith in your ability to succeed.
Celebrate little victories. Breakdown your resolution into attainable, bite-size nuggets. For instance, think about one specific change you’ll make every day, such as adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal or getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning so you can go for a walk before work. Give yourself some credit for making these positive changes – no matter how small. When you begin to succeed you gain self-confidence, which leads to greater success.
Find your “keystone” habit. For many people, making one change often leads to other positive changes. A keystone habit is a behavior that can kick-start this cascading of other new habits. You may find that exercising is your keystone habit. If you schedule time to walk in the morning, sign up for yoga class or begin training for a 5K, perhaps that will trigger other changes. Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part, but one healthy habit can lead to the next.

Finding time to touch base with your intentions, goals and really a life-check is a good way to stay on track all year-long. So many times we make general statements about losing weight, finding a partner, facing our fears that we aren’t setting ourselves up for success.  Instead, we should identify our goal or what we want to achieve and set steps to get there – making a habit of positive and healthy life style changes. Create a calendar and reward yourself when you accomplish a step or make a change for the better.

We still have 11 months to go – so hop to it!




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