Are you resolving to be healthier this year but are paralyzed by fear because resolutions have not worked for you in the past? Chances are you may have set unrealistic expectations for yourself, such as “I resolve to omit sweets entirely from my diet” then find, after a few weeks, it was just too difficult to avoid them entirely.
Take time to consider what you really want to change and what it will take to get there. As an example, if you want to be more active but have not exercised since you can’t remember when, think what baby steps you can take to be more active. This might mean starting to walk, not setting a time goal at the beginning but just getting up and doing it a few times a week. Or, if you want to lose some weight, will that involve reducing soda intake or making snacks healthier or controlling portion sizes or getting others in your household to bring in healthier foods or to store unhealthy snacks out of sight? Having a support system is always helpful in promoting change, whether it is a walking partner who helps you keep faithful to your plan or someone who encourages you to make healthier food choices or a friend you check in with periodically to compare progress.
Also having a means of monitoring your progress such as a simple calendar on which you mark the days you have walked can help show you that you are making positive changes or keeping a daily food diary to be more aware of your food intake. It may take up to 18 months to establish a new habit so be patient with yourself and give yourself credit for making small, positive changes. You will be surprised, over the course of the year, how much you will have accomplished and how good that will make you feel.
For ideas and professional encouragement to develop positive eating and exercise habits, please give me, Diane Machcinski, M.Ed.,RD, a call at 858-279-5124. I listen to your priorities, find out your eating patterns and help you develop a realistic plan.
Armed with a few simple, but concrete changes, lasting change can occur, over time, as progress and motivation build.