By JoAnne Romanelli, CHHC, AADP
Board Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
The New Year brings fresh energy to our lives. For many, it’s a clean slate to start anew. It’s also that time of year when everyone is making resolutions like lose weight, quit smoking or spend more time with the family. Gym memberships go up, Nicorette sales increase and everyone is on their best behavior. Then February rolls around and the gyms are empty, people are sneaking a smoke, and that momentum is gone. What happened? Is it that we’re weak and lost our will power? No. That has nothing to do with it. The reason why resolutions – or any changes in our lives – don’t stick is lack of strategy. It’s not enough create a resolution and hope, through your best intentions, that you keep it. You must have a strategy – a clearly defined, step by step game plan. This is your road map to success. Here are some ways to create a successful game plan that help realize your resolutions.
Before declaring your resolution to the world, ask yourself how realistic is your resolution. A resolution of losing fifteen pounds in two weeks is not only unhealthy, it’s unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Failure leads to feelings of defeat and before you know it, your resolution has been kicked to the curb. Also, it’s best to pick one resolution and give that one your best effort as opposed to creating five resolutions and feeling overwhelmed.
Now that you have your resolution in your head, put it in writing. Write down your resolution in detail, in the present tense and in a positive light. Be as specific as you can when writing down your goals. Visualize how you look and feel after you have reached your goal. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, you would write something like, “I am fit and healthy because I lost fifteen pounds in four months. I exercise daily and make smart food choices for me and my family. I am able to wear clothes I love and am free of health problems.” By writing in the present tense, you are making your goal more believable to your brain. In essence, you are giving your conscious and subconscious mind motivation. Post your resolutions every where- in your office, on your fridge, in your bedroom. This constant reminder will help keep you on track.
After you write down your resolution, create milestones for your goal. These “mini” goals are stepping stones for your big goal. Make sure you have deadlines for these milestones.
Be consistent! It takes thirty to sixty days to develop a habit so the more consistent you are in your daily life, the better your resolution will stick.
Replace old habits with new ones. Find hobbies that will take your mind off of your old habits. Replace unhealthy foods with delicious new ones, take up a hobby, take a dance class, etc.
Get support! Enlist your friends and family to be your personal cheerleaders. These are the people who will cheer you on every day as well as hold you accountable. Even the most well intentioned people can inhibit your growth so make sure to pick people that are positive, uplifting and validating.
Reward yourself when you hit milestones and major goals. Have that well deserved “splurge” meal, have a spa day or buy that expensive handbag you want. After all, you deserve it!
And finally, be patient with yourself. You might have set backs and that’s ok. It took time to create unhealthy habits so it will take time to un-do them. Practice self love and acceptance and your resolutions will surely be successful. Good luck!
JoAnne Romanelli, Getting Real Health, and Nicole Zaybak Drepaniotis and the AFRP are not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist, other licensed or registered professional, personal trainer or any other certified exercise specialist/health exercise adviser. Our purpose is advising and recommendations.
The information received should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is certainly not meant to take the place of your seeing licensed health professionals.
The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.