So here’s an idea: This year, do not resolve to lose weight, do not resolve to diet, do not resolve to finally fit into those jeans. This year, decide to be healthier and begin the actions that will make that a day-to-day reality. So lets outline the ways to choose and enact action steps that will help you to reach your health and wellness goals.
Step 1: Choose a positive goal. If you are looking to lose weight, start with your diet. Change the goal from “lose weight”, to “eat healthier”. If your goal is to “get fit”, change it to “exercise more.” Find a goal that you feel good about and then make it attainable.
Step 2: Write down three action steps to implement your goal. Revisiting the, “eat healthier goal”, some actions steps are: drinking 2 liters of water a day, eating 5 servings of green vegetables a day, and eating protein with every meal. Notice all of these are “do’s” and not “don’ts”. Resolving “not to do something” sets you up to think about the thing you shouldn’t be doing. Resolving “to do something” puts a positive spin on things. You will find that you are so focused on eating enough of the right foods that you are less preoccupied with the junk foods. If you want to add 1 “do not”, try not eating anything with corn syrup. You may be surprised by how many foods contain the sugary additive. Avoiding this single ingredient can be a stepping-stone to healthier eating.
Step 3: Anticipate and Overcome Obstacles: If you are looking to “exercise more”, write your workouts into your calendar. Pick a time that works best for you. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t plan workouts in the morning. If you are likely to have after work commitments, stay away from post work gym sessions. Having a hard time keeping to a schedule? Find a buddy. Research shows that people who workout with a friend are more likely to stick to their workouts and exercise consistently.
Step 4: Surround yourself with support. Your friends don’t have to join you at the gym. They don’t have to forgo a hamburger when you order a salad. They do have to recognize and support the positive changes that you are trying to make. Initially it may be difficult to change your eating habits when you are out in a group. Remember this: your choices empower your loved ones to make healthier choices when they are ready. In the meanwhile, smile and sneak a fry, but just one.
Step 5: Choose a way of measuring your results and write them down. Changing a habit is difficult, especially in the beginning, especially if you aren’t seeing changes right away. You may start to feel better before those jeans start to fit better. Choose 3 things to check in on. Has your energy increased? How are your moods since drinking more water? Are you sleeping better? Keeping track on a daily basis will help you note small successes that you may have missed otherwise. Make no mistake, these small successes lead to big changes and big successes.
Originally published at medium.com