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Every New Year’s Eve millions of people make resolutions to try to make their lives better in the coming year. By far, the resolution to lose weight, “get into shape” or just plain engage in healthier food choices is the most popular as well as the least followed resolution.
There are a lot of things to consider when trying to get and stay healthy, but we are going to start and end this blog with one thought. If you keep doing what you did, you’ll keep getting what you got. You can’t expect to make changes without actually changing anything.
A healthy lifestyle boils down to choices, big and small, conscious and unconscious that we make every day on how or what we will eat, if and how we will exercise, what level of stress we will tolerate in our lives and so on. All the decisions you have made, conscious or unconscious, have gotten you were you are today. The New Year’s resolution is a way to say “I’m going to make different choices from now on. I’m not going to keep doing what I did.” Here are a few things to consider when deciding to make changes in your diet and health.
One mistake we all make is to only look at the end goal and get discouraged because it seems too big or far way. A way to counteract this is to break your New Year goals down into smaller pieces. Take your weight loss goals one week or one month at a time. Break your diet decisions down meal by meal if need be or start with one change, for instance quit drinking soda, at a time. If you look at the decision and immediately think “I can’t do this” you’ve probably started too big. Baby steps can be necessary when you are getting started. Once you see some progress it’s a lot easier to add more things in and gain some real momentum.
It’s important to have a clear vision of what you are going for so you know when you get there. Make it specific and spend time picturing yourself already there. It will give you motivation. Also, plan some rewards at certain bench marks along the way. But be wise about it. If you are looking to achieve a goal of weight loss, rewarding yourself with deserts, pizzas or junk food can knock you back into a bad habit. Weight lifters sometimes give themselves “cheat days” where they eat whatever they want one day a month or so. That can work if you are a person who has a lot of will power and can get back into the swing of your diet easily but the average person may not be able to do that without falling back into old habits. Setting a reward like a new item of clothing, a trip to your favorite local attraction or something else you really enjoy but don’t do that often would be a good idea.
Look into getting help and support from friends or family, get a personal trainer, life coach or Natural Health Practitioner that can help you plot the course and keep you focused on your New Year goal.
A Natural Health Practitioner in particular is a great resource to give you guidance as well as helping you with the physical health challenges you may come across along the way. There can be energy issues, detox issues and other health related challenges that you didn’t anticipate and a natural health practitioner can recommend supplements, exercises, and even the best kind of diet given your wellness status and goals. There are protein powders to help you lose fat and build muscle, supplements to help you recover from sore muscles or fatigue, even ones that help you detox the toxins that can be released into your system when you lose fat.
Use social media! Posting your new year's goal(s) is a simple free way to receive support and create accountability towards achieving your resolution.
So, you’ve made some real progress or even completely achieved your New Year goal. Now what? A mistake a lot of people make is to go back to eating exactly the way they did before. But that’s what got them out of shape in the first place. What’s most important to recognize is that even though we’ve called it a “diet” it really needs to be a “lifestyle change” because it’s not something that, once you reach your goal, you just drop and carry on as you did before. If you look at it as a lifestyle or paradigm shift chances are you will reach your goal and stay there.