Every January 1st, 41 percent of Americans resolve to lose weight or get in shape. (More than half have made this same resolution for five years or more!). In fact, health clubs and gyms see an increase in membership of 25% during the first week of January alone! But by January 30th, 95% of resolutions are dropped and most of us quickly go back to our old habits. What can you do to achieve your health and wellness goals this year? Here are five top tips for turning your dreams into reality:
1. Do it “write”. Studies show that the simple act of writing down your intentions helps your mind and body connect and increases your chances of success. Select no more than three resolutions and write them on a piece of paper. Include specifics that you can measure (for example “I will lose 10 pounds by March 31st” or “I will have no more than one glass of wine each week”). Post your resolutions in a visible place (your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car) and say them out loud to yourself each day.
2. Plan ahead. Now that you have created your resolutions, plan the specific actions you will need to take to achieve them – don’t leave it to chance! For example, if your goal is to “exercise daily”, use your calendar and make an appointment with yourself by planning your workout times each week. Then before you go to bed, lay out your workout gear and plan a healthy snack for pre-workout energy. As another example, if your goal is to “eat healthy meals” then cook a week’s worth of soup, grains, vegetables, beans, etc. and pack your lunch each morning.
3. Get to the source of what is sabotaging your efforts. Are you in a bad relationship that causes you to splurge on sweets every night? Are you stressed out at work from a demanding boss and feel too drained to exercise after work? Keep a journal and get in touch with what’s eating you. See if you can make slight changes to the way you respond to situations. Or perhaps it’s time to look for a new job or relationship! When you are able to recognize and tackle the root cause of why you eat or why you don’t exercise, it will be easier to reach your goals without turning to food for “comfort”.
4. Visualize what your life will look like when you achieve your resolutions. Start by asking yourself: what do I want and why do I want it? If you resolve to lose 20 pounds, how will this benefit you? (i.e. more energy, more confidence, longer life.) Picture how you will look – what are you wearing? A little black dress? Skinny jeans? How do you feel? Visualizing yourself as having achieved your goals will help you stay on track toward what is truly important to you.
5. Share your resolutions with friends, family or coach. When you tell others, your commitments become more real and you become accountable to yourself. Consider finding an “accountabili-buddy” or invite friends over to cook and eat new healthy recipes.
Follow these five top tips and this may be the last year you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get healthy!
Is reclaiming your health a desirable resolution for you in the New Year? I would be honored to become your wellness guide and accountability partner. I will support, educate, inspire and encourage you on your path to ideal wellness. I aim to provide a safe place and time to learn about proper nutrition, set realistic and achievable goals, explore your relationship with food and self, as well as promote healthy lifestyle balance. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation and learn about a variety of programs to help make your good intentions a reality in 2015.
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Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.