03 Jan A Powerful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions
It is a New Year, a white canvas, a time to reflect and set your sights, your vision on what you would like to accomplish in 2019. New year's resolutions are extremely popular. The majority of Americans make them, but the success rate(1) is estimated to be less than ten percent.
Losing weight and getting in shape are by far the most popular resolutions, yet despite the increase in traffic at most health clubs and gyms, the ability to maintain the focus and achieve lasting results is often limited, for it is not a quick fix but a lifestyle transformation. Here’s some simple tips to making lasting transformation this new year.
How to Make Attainable and Reasonable New Year's Resolutions
Instead of going with the same old weight loss resolution, try setting different goals that will bring meaningful wellness to your life. Methods that don't involve self-deprivation are not only easier to follow but are more enjoyable and beneficial, and you may find that you will actually lose weight!
Set Goals for Success
Writing down your resolution without creating a plan on how to achieve the resolution can be problematic. To easily create goals that will stick follow the SMART goal format — goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specific means a targeted area that needs improvement. Measurable denotes that you can quantify it, or at least measure your progress. Attainable indicates that it’s a realistic goal for you to accomplish. Relevant means that it’s a worthy goal that matches what you want to achieve with your life. Time-bound signifies that you’ve set deadlines. You can apply the SMART goal format to any of the resolution topics discussed below.
Are you planning on banning your favorite treat? This may backfire and cause you to binge. Alternatively, make peace with your food triggers. Have that piece of chocolate occasionally instead of setting yourself up for failure.
Check in with your diet. This could mean asking yourself if you're eating the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Are you including superfoods, like bone broth and fermented foods?
If you want to create a SMART goal related to food, it could be something like this, “I will eat three servings of fermented foods every week for six weeks.” This goal is specific, attainable, and set for a determined amount of time.
Create an exercise plan that rejoices in lifelong health benefits. Exercise is definitely a New Year's resolution that you need to come up with specific changes that you want to make. Saying that you're going to "exercise more to lose weight" is not measurable or specific. This goal is poorly worded.
Actionable examples of specific exercise goals are, “I will exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week.” Or, “I will attend a yoga class once a week and do yoga at home twice a week.” You can even get more specific, such as, “I will attend a yoga class on Monday and Wednesday every week until the end of May.”
Nutrition and exercise tend to take precedence when people are making goals, leaving sleep on the backburner. One out of three people(3) don't get enough sleep to promote optimal health and wellbeing. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is linked to an increased risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and frequent mental distress.
Exposure to artificial light a couple hours before bed can decrease your melatonin production(4), which can keep you up at night. If this sounds like you, definitely make sleep a priority. A goal may look like this, “At 9 pm I’m going to turn off all light-emitting devices.”
Escaping stress can be difficult, and stress management often takes a back seat to healthy eating and physical activity. Unfortunately, chronic stress is a part of modern society, and often, stress is even considered a sign of success. But without some form of stress management, you will sabotage your best efforts with diet and exercise. Symptoms of chronic stress(5) include fatigue, headaches, digestive distress, decreased immunity, sleep issues, mood swings, sugar cravings, and mood swings.
Stress relief may involve things like yoga, tai chi, meditation, and visualization practices. But no matter what you decide as your stress relieving activity, it's best to start slowly, especially with techniques like meditation.
If your resolution is to meditate every morning, be sure you’re setting a reasonable time for yourself. A good place to start is five minutes of meditation every morning, and then you can increase it from there. Beginning slowly will make this type of New Year's resolution much more attainable.
Probabilities vs. Possibilities
Often, we fail to see the possibilities and allow statistics, or our past experiences dictate our goals for ourselves. As we continue into the new year, it is important that we consider all the possibilities and give ourselves the freedom to dream the life we want to live. Because, life isn’t always a science but rather a great miracle. Anything and everything is possible.
Looking at probabilities vs possibilities, I wish that this New Year bring forth to you, an abundance of creative energy, self-love and respect, and that you make the time to dream the big dream. May you achieve everlasting health, balance, peace and prosperity.
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