New Year! New You! Top 5 Wellness Resolutions
Every January 1st, millions of people decide that they want to feel and look better – physically as well as emotionally. Unfortunately, there’s often a disconnect between a desire for a healthy lifestyle and actual behavior. Studies show that within 6 months, more than half those people have given up.
If you are thinking that this might be your year to make a Total Transformation, here are 5 resolutions that can help increase your odds of success:
1. See a Doctor
Always consult a physician before changing your lifestyle. Small adjustments in your diet and easy-to-start exercises like walking don’t necessarily require a trip to the doctor’s office. But if it's been awhile since you've exercised, or more than a year since your last checkup, you should talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or diet plan. This is especially necessary as you get older, and if you have health issues or concerns.
2. Change your Diet Gradually
Even after talking to your doctor, you should never leap into a new eating routine or radical diet immediately. Taking baby steps to ease your body into a new food regimen means you’re more likely to stay on it, especially long term. Too often a radical shift in eating habits results in cravings, feelings of starvation, and when you give into them, a layer of guilt. Give your body a chance to adjust as you go and you’ll last much longer.
3. Find a Support System
It’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support. Having others share in the journey is a valuable way to get tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy. Plus, you can keep each other accountable for what you agreed you’d do. You’ll also have someone to celebrate victories with and to encourage one another if you do get off track.
4. Expect a Plateau & Have a Plan
No matter what method you try, you are eventually going to hit a point where your weight loss stalls. This is normal and expected. Linear progress cannot continue indefinitely. The good news is, if you anticipate it, it is much easier on you psychologically, and easier to get past. One good suggestion is to keep the vision of you want to be present in your mind. Knowing where you are going will keep you on track and moving forward, working the plan so the plan keeps working.
5. Track Your Progress
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Just like in the case of the plateau, you need to know where you are going. To get there, keep an accurate account of everything you eat, every calorie you burn and every step you take closer to your goal, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Setting benchmarks gives you smaller goals to reach and by marking them off, you get a flush of endorphins that can help propel you onto the next, larger step.