New Year New You: Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

New Year New You: Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

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The most common thing we say to each other when the calendar changes is “Happy New Year!” Obviously. But one of the most common interactions we have with other people immediately following this is a discussion about what our New Year’s Resolutions are. One of the most popular resolutions is some variation of being healthier. That could come many ways, whether it be taking care of our mental health, trying to cut out sugar, or leading a more active lifestyle. Any of these are worthwhile endeavors on their own, but generally speaking, working on one of those tends to yield benefits for the other two. For example, healthy weight loss can lead to improved self-esteem, which leads to improved mental health. Improved mental health leads to a more positive outlook, which naturally encourages us to get out and about. Sadly though, too many of these resolutions fail. This isn’t because they are impossible, or some character flaw. Too many of us give up on our goals because we don’t manage our expectations, and we try to go too big too soon. So today we are going to explore some ways to make a healthy New Year’s Resolution, as well as ways to sustain it, that way a resolution becomes a habit. So, what’s the best way to start?

Keep It Simple

One of the most common mistakes when trying to lead a healthier lifestyle is that we overcomplicate things. More often than not, this plays out as extremely challenging changes to our routine whereby we try to fix everything at once. But an approach like this one is almost guaranteed to fail if only because we tried to do too much too soon. Instead of slowly making progress, and learning as we go, and moving on from slip-ups, we try to get everything done quickly. But a healthier lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and care to make it sustainable and safe. So instead of overhauling everything, try smaller adjustments such as trying to find healthy substitutes for our favorite foods. Ice cream? Try the low fat, or even nondairy varieties. Chips? Look for lower calorie as well as low sodium varieties. Many small changes are easier to maintain because we are being more mindful of what we do, but the change isn’t so drastic that we can’t quickly adapt.

Set Realistic Goals

More often than not, a weight loss plan that fails was preceded by us setting a very lofty goal that we couldn’t reach. For example, some people will challenge themselves to lose 25 pounds in a month, and when they don’t hit the mark, they become discouraged and give up altogether. But by setting a more realistic goal, like saying you want to do 90 minutes of physical activity per week makes it much easier to get started. In that example, 15 minutes a day gets you well over the mark! But more importantly, small steps like these are important because they help us build a habit and make us more mindful of our progress. As we get more used to the experience and adapt to the changes, we eventually start to increase our efforts, since we know we are up to the challenge.

If You Fall Short, Get Back To It

People are not perfect. Sometimes we slip up, or we prioritize something else, and our goal suffers for it. It happens to everyone. But it’s important that we don’t get discouraged by our failures, and instead learn from them. There is no rule saying that we have to accomplish our resolution perfectly on the first try. We are allowed do-overs. And when it comes to taking care of ourselves and reaching a healthy weight, sometimes the cliché phrases are the best advice. “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

Track Progress, But Not Too Harshly

Whenever we try to lose weight, checking the scale obsessively is a pretty universal habit. But sometimes, we don’t lose as much as we set out to or expected. That’s fine. If you set out to lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks, and you lost 8, that’s still 8 less than before. Sometimes, the scale won’t even change, but that at least means there was no gain. Also, be mindful of the fact that as our bodies adapt to our changing behaviors, some of us might respond by retaining water, or some other adaptation. Give it time. Persistence is key.

Celebrate Your Wins

Sometimes we become so obsessed with our progress that we forget to take a minute and give ourselves a pat on the back for our efforts. But it’s vital that we don’t skip this crucial bit of self-care. Achievements aren’t as fun if we don’t take a minute to enjoy them. Besides, enjoying the moment is a great incentive to stay at it. Healthy and safe weight loss is one of those things that when you lose, you win. And that kind of a win is always worth celebrating.

Help from Medical Professionals Goes a Long Way

When all is said and done, weight loss falls under the category of medical science. By seeking the help of trained professionals, you not only have better resources to succeed, but the support structure you need to continue building better habits. Sustaining these habits during in the beginning of the new year is essential to help keep your momentum! The professionals at Olivera Weight Loss have over 40 years of experience in helping people reduce their weight to a healthy BMI, in a clinically proven and medically safe way, and with the means to help their patients keep it off.

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