A new year; a new you! A clean slate and a fresh start! The New Year brings the promise of a brand new year filled with new adventures, goals, accomplishments and self-growth. This is also the time of year that most of us make New Years Resolutions after a season of over indulgence, family gatherings, extravagant dinners and drinks. Self-reflection is an important part of our lifelong self-growth and resolutions can play an important role towards this. However, does it seem that you make similar resolutions each year without success?
This year approach it a bit differently.
First of all, BE REALISTIC with your resolutions. If you want to lose weight or get into better shape but hate the gym then joining the gym to exercise is not going to be a lasting change. The key is not to start training for a marathon from day one but to increase your level of activity compared to what it was before. If your normal level of activity is not very active then you just need to increase that. We all think that the gym is the only way to exercise or get into better shape yet this is not true. Approach your resolution as making changes that you find realistic and can stick with 3 months, 6 months or a year from now. They do not need to be big or drastic changes but realistic ones.
Secondly, BE PATIENT! You did not gain the weight over night so it is going to take some time to lose that weight or break that bad habit you are trying to change. Be patient with yourself even if you do not immediately see the results you expect. Remember you have just made a change towards better health and that is an accomplishment on it's own. In terms of weight loss a goal of losing 1-2 lbs. a week is realistic. Anything more than that, increases your changes of regaining that weight. You want your resolution to be a lifelong change and not a temporary one.
Thirdly, BE OPEN to the possibility of new things. If your goal is to get into better shape this year, then why not take 2014 as the year to figure out what you like to do? Pick a new activity every month and try it. You already know what you do not like to do, now make this about figuring out what you enjoy. Once you find that activity you enjoy then better fitness becomes easier to achieve. Why not try Zumba, a spin class, Aquafit or hot yoga?
On that note, instead of having New Years Resolutions for the entire year, have 12 goals; one for each month. Something big or small that you would like to work on but make it a realistic goal that you can work towards comfortably and then build on it from there.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Okotoks and Calgary.
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