Happy 2016! Yes, it’s the beginning of another year. Along with that, so many people make new years resolutions. I recently took a poll on my personal Facebook page asking what kinds of resolutions were being made. Not many people admitted to making them. The ones that did, said they were working on organization, less screen time, more service time, etc. No one mentioned health and wellness, yet most everyone I have spoken to, is making some kind of health or fitness resolution. While I always encourage everyone to focus on their health and fitness, I do not encourage people to make weight loss resolutions. While it may work for some, for others it can have the reverse effect.
I no longer make resolutions. My experience is that it generally set me up for a big let down and feeling defeated. I understand why people do it, but to try and implement a huge life change all at once at the beginning of the year is too much pressure. When I had my weight loss success, I started in March and it was a phased approach. I did not make huge changes across the board. There are some things I do want to focus on this year, but I am not calling them resolutions. I am approaching them as simple lifestyle changes and I am certainly not trying to do them all at once. My tendency is to over-commit. I sign up for everything, agree to take on more than I can handle, and then I am running around stressed. After a long conversation with my husband who is generally on the receiving end of my stress, we came up with a plan on how to better manager my commitments. I have prioritized them and then have made decisions on how much time I can devote to each per week, etc. I am not giving anything up, just paring it back. We are into the 2nd week of using this method and so far, I do not feel overwhelmed. My new scheduled allows me some downtime each day. This is critical for me to keep from becoming overwhelmed. The biggest adjustment for me will be learning to say ‘no’ to some things. It is difficult for me to do that, but that is exactly how I get over committed!
So, enough about my changes. Let’s talk about yours. Are you looking to make lifestyle changes with your diet and exercise? If so, here are a few tips:
- Avoid burn out. Don’t make all the changes at once. Suddenly restricting your diet and increasing your exercise all at once, can be overwhelming. Start with one change. Work on it for a week, then add in the other. For example, this week focus on getting up from your desk or couch and walking more. Next week, add in a few dietary changes while you increase your walking.
- Make small goals. Rather than say, ‘I want to lose 10 pounds this month’, commit to making one change that doesn’t involve the scale, like walking 3 days a week. As you successfully hit each goal, you will begin to see changes in yourself and on the scale. Those little successes will keep you going. This is a healthier approach than throwing you hands up and quitting because you were not able to sustain all the HUGE changes you implemented at once. Slow and steady….
- Find a buddy to help you stay motivated and hold you accountable. I like using the My Fitness Pal app with my friends. It help keeps me accountable and I enjoy the positive encouragement I received from my friends.
- Choose an exercise program that suits your fitness level. If you are just starting out, a PiYo class may not be the best choice. Start with biking, walking, or a beginners Yoga or boot camp class. Build from there. As you need more, find new challenging programs that keep it fresh for you.
- Not sure what is best for you? Consult with a trainer for some ideas, but remember to speak to your doctor before starting any new program.
I want to help you be successful. Send me an email with what type of changes you are looking for, and let me help you come up with a reasonable plan to get you going!