By: Rick Bellanti – January, 2017
Wow, here we are once again, a new year has just rung in and we are all well into our New Year’s resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is a tradition that stretches back over hundreds of years and is best described as a person making a promise to do an act of self-improvement or accomplish something nice for themselves, such as quitting smoking or the most common resolutions are to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise more.
Did you know that about 75% of people stick to their resolutions for at least two weeks and less than 50% are still actively working their resolutions within six months? The most common reason for people failing their New Year’s resolutions is setting themselves up with unrealistic goals. It’s something we all do because we seem to be a quick fix generation and want to see results immediately or we lose interest, get discouraged and just give up.
If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight then don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic goals to attain; if you need to lose 100 lbs., a healthy guideline to lose weight (and better your chances at keeping it off) is to lose between one to two pounds a week, So set smaller attainable goals such as 10 lbs. by Valentine’s day, 20 lbs. by Easter and so on. If your goal is to exercise more in the upcoming year, then remember to start slow and gradually build up your routines so you don’t overdo it and get burned out quickly or even hurt yourself, which may discourage you from starting up again. The health benefits of adding physical activity and regular exercise into your program are hard to ignore. Exercising regularly can boost your energy levels, boost your muscle strength, help to build lean muscle which burns fat, and even improve your emotional mood.
Sometimes it is helpful to make a list of items you would like to accomplish in the upcoming year (don’t just say you are going to do something) write it down and hang it up where you are going to see it on a daily basis. Your list could be: lose weight, eat healthy, exercise more or stop smoking, Keep in mind, you don’t have to start and complete all of the items listed at once or even at the same time. Pick one or two of your resolutions and do your best without overwhelming yourself, When you feel you are ready for the next improvement, add it in your daily routine and keep that momentum going. Try to celebrate each smaller goal and be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small and don’t dwell or get discouraged if something doesn’t go as planned, pick right back up choose another on your list and just go.
Another trick that seems to help is to keep a journal. Make your list of resolutions (personal goals) for the year, and write daily notes in it. It could be tracking what you ate (a food journal) with calories and water intake for the day, your workout routines or even just the thoughts you are having throughout your journey. This will help when you want to look back to find out why you are not losing weight or how you were able to hit your goal.
This is all about self-improvement so do it for you and at your own pace. No one says you need to start everything on January first and remember, you don’t need a new year to make a change; all you need is today and think of how you will feel when December 31st rolls around.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 160 lbs since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here.