Nutrition Resolutions 2015
At this time of year, it’s natural to think about – and struggle to achieve – your wellness goals for 2015. Have you decided to lose weight (yet again) in 2015? Do you find that come end of January all your good intentions are a distant memory, swallowed up in the stress and distraction of everyday life. My encouragement for you is to make 2015 a year of sustainable success rather than failure. It is beneficial to look at some of the reasons why people fail so you can avoid these pit falls and be successful.
1. Set Clear Goals:
There are likely many things you could work on, but what are the specific things you are willing to do that can improve your long- term health? Are you being reasonable and setting yourself up with the best chances for success?
Many people have a weight loss goal in their mind that needs to be readjusted to be more in line with reality. In my practice I am amazed at how people want to lose large amounts of weight, quickly and with minimal effort. Unrealistically large weight loss goals can lead to disappointment or prevent a person from even starting the weight loss process. It is well documented that a 5 – 10% weight loss can result in significant improvement in health outcomes.
It should not always be about your weight. Apart from weight loss as a goal, use other positive health outcomes to establish goals, for example, improved energy, becoming more active, improved blood sugar levels, or a reduction in cholesterol or hypertension.
It is far better to have a series of short term goals. This allows you to reach your long term goals in bite size chunks. You are far likely to succeed if you focus on the process and not the end result.
2. Be Accountable:
Have you noticed few people are good at being their own motivators? How about you? You may be more likely to accomplish your goals when you have accountability tools in place to help you monitor your progress and stay on course.
These could be things like keeping a food diary, arranging an exercise date with a friend or consulting with a Dietitian. When the going gets tough, or your life gets crazy, accountability tools can help you stay on track.
It is so important that once you have had your initial nutritional appointment you book follow up sessions. The initial session will be helpful in providing you with knowledge about how to implement your nutritional program. But knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things! Follow up meeting are vital to keep you motivated and accountable. They are ideal opportunities to fine tune goals and bring you back on course when you have lost your way. They are also very motivating, especially when short term goals are achieved. Tracking your progress can be hugely inspiring and spur you on the future successes.
3. Have a plan:
Accept that willpower will always let you down. When under stress it is very difficult to keep focus. We have a limited ability to resist temptation when we are faced with obstacles, life stressors and distractions. This is especially true when we are making a change to our nutrition and lifestyle that has not yet become a habit. It is far more effective to have a solid plan in place than to rely on willpower.
Whatever your New Year’s Resolution is this year, be sure to have clarity, accountability and a specific plan that doesn’t rely on willpower for the best chance of success.