Eavesdropping is rude, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid. While sipping a soy mocha at Starbucks this week I couldn’t help but overhear two ladies sitting right next to me. They were sharing their New Year’s resolutions with one another.
“I want to lose some major weight this month,” said one.
“I plan on eating a plant-based diet, ” said the other.
It was hard for me to hold my tongue as I silently shook my head. When it came to making resolutions these women had it all wrong. Broad, unmeasureable goals usually measure up to empty promises. It’s important to be specific and realistic when making healthy lifestyle changes.
Want to be successful with your goals? Here’s a guideline to follow:
DIET: Want to eat more healthfully? Choose a specific area to concentrate on each week such as eating less red meat, consuming less sugary foods and beverages, drinking more water or adding more fruits and veggies each day. Cleaning up your entire diet at once will leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, leading to abandoning your resolution entirely.
WEIGHT LOSS: How many pounds do you want to lose? Plan on dropping 1-2 pounds a week and no more. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to keeping weight off. Even if you want to take off 20 pounds, deal with only 5 pounds at a time. Give yourself one month to lose those first five, then for the next five, etc.
SLEEP: Want to get more sleep in the New Year? Instead of immediately changing your bedtime to one hour earlier, go with 15 minute increments each week. By the end of the month you will have added a full hour onto to your shut-eye time.
STRESS: Instead of a broad statement such as, “I need to relax more”, actually book “me-time” on your calendar. Schedule a massage or manicure each week or block off 10 minutes in your day to close your eyes, breathe deeply and zone-out.
EXERCISE: Want to exercise more? Don’t just say it! Make an exact, doable plan and then follow through. If you regularly walk, add another 1o-15 minutes onto your time. If you go to the gym try taking one extra class each week. It’s important to increase your exercise time slowly so you don’t immediatly burn-out.
Self-improvement is all about setting up realistic challenges. Give yourself something to work for in 2012 but think in terms of ”one day at a time”.
Yours in Health,