It starts with the best of intentions. It’s a new year and you’ve got big changes in mind. But just as the last verses of “Auld Lang Syne” begin to fade into the background, so too does the typical resolution.
According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, while 45 percent of us tend to make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent of us actually achieve our goals. The number one resolution last year was weight loss. Quitting smoking and getting or staying fit and healthy also topped the list. Thinking big is important, but working in bite-sized chunks can make the large goals attainable.
Keep Your Goals in Sight By Breaking Them Up Into Specific, Smaller Steps
- Give up soda or fried food
- Walk or exercise five days per week, no matter the weather
- Drink water four times a day
- Park as far away from your destination as possible
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Go to sleep earlier or get on a regular sleep routine
- Remove your television from your bedroom
- Don’t eat anywhere in your house outside the kitchen
- Give up drive-through restaurants or eating in your car
- Make an appointment with a registered dietitian or personal trainer
These miniature goals can serve as stepping stones toward weight loss or fitness. Once you have successfully incorporated one, and your confidence builds, plan to add another.
Changing your life isn’t easy. You may need additional, professional assistance if you have some difficulty taking these steps on your own. By working in conjunction with a health care provider, a registered dietitian or certified personal trainer can help you to stay accountable and safe.
If you have been told by your provider that you are obese, or you have a serious weight-related health concern, like diabetes or high-blood pressure, you should consider attending a health care provider-led weight loss program seminar. There are medical interventions, surgical and non-surgical, available for those who qualify.
Kathy Foreman, CNP is with Chesapeake Regional's non-surgical Weight Management program.