by Deanna Lamadrid Jensen, Certified Health Coach
It’s been about a month since we’ve all made our New Year’s Resolutions. Are you still on track? Most people resolve to improve their health at the beginning of the year, but the truth is that only 8-19% of people are successful and really make that happen. I want to share 4 tips with you today on how you can truly succeed this year.
1) Focus on creating HABITS more than the goal itself
If your goal is to drink more water this year, (you should shoot for at least half your body weight in ounces) you’ll be most successful if you associate it with something you’re already doing (like eating) with drinking water, to create a healthy habit. So, every time you eat something, you also drink at least 8 ounces of water. Every time I wake up in the morning, I’m thirsty so I’ve associated waking up and walking into the kitchen with drinking water. I try to chug about 20 oz as soon as I go into the kitchen in the morning to make sure I’m getting it in early.
2) Start small
The problem for most of us is that we set too many goals/habits at once which set us up for failure. If you’re not currently exercising at all then making a goal to do so every day is unrealistic. Again, try to pair exercise with a habit that you already have in place. Do you walk your dog on Tuesdays? How about going for 2 blocks instead of 1? Work yourself up until you can jog or run a mile. Do you take the elevator up to your office every day? How about taking the stairs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? Work yourself up until you can do it every day and eventually climb two stairs at a time.
3) Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t
When you try to change in order to get rid of something (excess weight, medication, etc) you will slip up as soon as things get a little better. This type of motivation almost never leads to lasting change. Instead, focus on what you want (having energy to play with your kids, going up a flight of stairs without getting winded), not what you don’t want (overweight and tired). If you focus on what you really want, you will continue to make the right choices to help you get there.
4) Change your environment
Will power is not enough. Why tempt yourself with a bag of your favorite chocolates in your pantry? Don’t buy them at all. If you want to get to sleep earlier but, are addicted to your phone (like most of us are) charge it in another room and use an old fashioned alarm clock to wake you up.
Evaluate where you are, and start working towards where and who you want to be.
Deanna Lamadrid-Jensen is a mother of 3 and a Certified Health Coach through the Center of Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University. She is passionate about helping people to feel good about and love their body and recognizing the gift that it is. She has helped her clients lose over 1,500 lbs, reduce and eliminate many medications, and teaches them daily habits to keep the weight off and achieve their health goals.