Each year, millions of us make New Year’s resolutions regarding weight loss, fitness, and health goals. We join a gym and stock our refrigerators with healthy foods… But by March, many of us have given up, and have reverted to old habits once again.
Why do we tend to give up on such important goals? The reasons are different for everyone, but following these guidelines can help you make changes that really last throughout the year.
Set realistic goals. Ambition is an admirable quality, but sometimes being over-ambitious can backfire. If you set a goal to lose 50 pounds by March, and by mid-February you’ve “only” lost 8 pounds, you might feel discouraged and give up. But the truth is, no one can lose that much weight, that quickly. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment by establishing an unattainable goal. Slow and steady is the key to lasting weight loss.
Don’t try to do it all at once. Maybe your resolution is to improve your health or lose weight, and you know you need to make several lifestyle changes in order to accomplish that goal. But if you try to change everything all at once, you can become overwhelmed and give up. Instead, set a goal to change one behavior per month. It’s more manageable, and by the end of the year you will have overhauled your lifestyle.
Accept the fact that change is hard. It’s unlikely that you will make a drastic lifestyle change overnight, and stick to it 100 percent of the time. Occasionally, you might backslide by skipping a daily workout or indulging in a bag of chips. This doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel, and quit working toward your goals for the rest of the year! View the episode for what it really is, a temporary setback, and then resolve to forgive yourself and move on.
Seek support. Making major lifestyle changes is no simple task. Seek the support you need to accomplish your resolutions, and you’ll be more likely to stay on track all year. If you want to exercise more, for example, recruit a fitness buddy or join a class. Support groups can help with quitting unhealthy habits, and the guidance of a physician can help with weight loss. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can offer medical weight loss solutions that really work for your body type.