Updated: January 27, 2013 6:11AM
Although the New Year is generally a time of celebration and new beginnings, it also is a time for resolutions.
When making New Year’s resolutions, many people take an inventory of the past year, their current health or financial shortcomings and set goals to move forward. Resolutions declare that we will do better.
Take a moment to reflect on your past resolutions. How many were achieved? Have you had the same resolutions year after year?
Make the decision to stop the resolution cycle in 2013. Set goals that you can attain. Here are five ways to reach your 2013 goals:
When setting goals, be sure they are attainable and realistic.
“Setting an unrealistic goal of losing 20 pounds per month will only set you up for failure” said Kelly Devine Rickert, Franciscan St. James outpatient dietitian and an Illinois Dietetic Association Media spokeswoman. “Try to break up that goal into a more realistic one such as, I will lose one pound per week.”
Similarly, if you have not exercised in a while, don’t expect to be able to squeeze in an hour of exercise seven days a week at the gym.
Instead, Rickert suggests you start off with two days a week for 30 minutes, and add in two classes a week to attend.
Set intermediate goals
An entire year is a very long time to wait to see if you have succeeded. It is important to
recognize small successes instead of waiting for one large pay off.
For weight loss, try to break up your goal into five or 10 pound increments, or start by doing five or 10 minutes of aerobic activity rather than get overwhelmed by too large a goal.
Stop trying and start doing
According to “How You Feel is Up to You,” saying I’ll try is “buying an insurance policy against failure.”
Trying often means that you are afraid you can’t do whatever it is you are attempting. To help you understand, right now try to get out of your chair. Can you do it? Of course not, you either get up or you don’t. The same applies for change. Do it or don’t; just stop “trying.”
Get rid of the guilt
You cannot guilt yourself into success. The first step to getting rid of guilt is to have the right expectations. Understand that today is only today. If you don’t do exactly what you had hoped today, it does not mean you failed. You do not have to be perfect, only a little better tomorrow than you were today.
Left to our own accord, the majority of us will put things off, delay or even rationalize why other tasks in life are more important than achieving our goals.
Rickert suggests making an exercise date once or twice a week with a friend so you don’t fall into the trap of putting off your exercise. Knowing that you have to meet someone just might be that extra boost of motivation to make it happen.
Stop making resolutions and start reaching your goals in 2013.
At Franciscan St. James Health outpatient nutrition, we not only specialize in nutrition, but also personal training and counseling.
Information about group classes or individual counseling is at (708) 679-2717.
Tina Musselman, a registered dietitian and certified clinical nutritionist, is Franciscan St. James Health’s program coordinator for bariatric surgery and outpatient nutrition.
Franciscan St. James is a member of the Southland Health Alliance.