By: Jennifer L. Long, RN, NCN
Have you already started thinking about your New Year resolution? Chances are you’re not alone. On December 13, 2012, The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology published statistics on New Years resolutions made by Americans. In 2012 45 % of Americans made a resolution, 38% of those were weight related. Losing weight ranked #1 out of the top 10 list. When I asked some of my current clients and friends what came to mind when thinking about making a New Years resolution, the responses were very similar. Laurie Crowley of Hyannis says, “I always think of myself making a commitment to doing something that I never commit to…” Athena Viera, also of Hyannis tells me, “I've learned to make small goals instead of one large one and naming it my new years resolution”. The fear for these two ladies and many others is failure. The reality is overwhelming with 8% actually having success in their resolutions. So, why is it so hard for us to succeed in these goals? It’s not a lack of determination, or desire to improve. It is the mere fact of setting our selves up to fail with unrealistic goals that are so extreme and require such drastic changes. When a client comes to me and I ask them what their goals are, there is another question I ask. What are you willing to do to make that happen, and WHY is it important to you? Many times they believe they are going to completely give up something they have spent a long time or even their entire life doing. Sadly, this is the root of failure. It takes 30 days to create a new habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle change. This requires practice, some failure, support and small attainable goals along the way like Athena said earlier. Lets say you are coming to me with a goal to lose fat and gain muscle, notice I didn’t say lose weight. Weight is too general and getting obsessed with the scale is one of the main reasons people will give up. If the scale doesn’t move they assume they’ve failed. I teach people to focus on inches and body fat % lost and their whole attitude changes. When the scale doesn’t show much change but the measuring tape does, they are thrilled and tell me about the pants they couldn’t wear before, but now fit. That’s success!
So how do we make New Years resolutions we can truly commit to and be successful with? Resist the all or nothing attitude. Do not expect to give up the pleasures in your life. Being human means we will like a piece of cake, glass of wine or soda and the all American cheeseburger. The key is to find a plan that allows you to be human, that is designed to be a lifestyle. Diets wont work, they will restrict and deprive you and leave you. You will feel like you failed when in reality the DIET failed YOU! Focus on the basics. I teach my clients to get used to eating less more often, drinking more water and limit their vices. Then once that pattern has become a habit, we introduce another goal. When you can feel the excitement of even the smallest accomplishment, you learn to be human. You learn to see yourself as a success, making the “I can’t” expression extinct and
learning to say “I CAN” and to know it’s a matter of figuring out how! This is how we thrive in a negative world, seeing every one of the positive changes as a victory and strive to keep moving forward! There are two types of people in this world, the one who says “I can” and the one who says “I can’t”, they are BOTH usually right.
“Transformation Begins With Nutrition”- Jennifer Long, RN,NCN.
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