By: Carolyn George, M.D.
“If you are interested, you will do what is convenient; if you’re committed you’ll do whatever it takes.”- John Assaraf
More than 50% of the US population makes New Year’s resolutions, yet less than 8% of the people achieve them! The secret is knowing how to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the year! So, what are these secrets to success?
- We need to make HABITS out of the healthy activities. None of us think twice about brushing our teeth twice a day, because we put the toothbrush in the bathroom near the sink where we go first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Use the same thinking with your resolutions. Studies have shown that you need to do something daily for at least 20 days before it starts to become a habit.
- Value yourself. We invest in our businesses, education, and finances but rarely into our own personal health. We have one body that has to last a lifetime. Putting your exercise time, food prep time and meditation time on your schedule and honoring that as much as an appointment with anyone else helps you to make your goals a habit and a priority. You deserve it!
- Set realistic goals and clearly define them. Rather than saying “I am going to eat healthy” try something more specific like “I will eat six servings of vegetables a day for the next six months.” Prepare healthy food on the weekend and pre-package it so it’s easy to take out and heat up when you get home from work.
- Accountability is another important tool. Tell friends and family or connect with someone who has similar goals. Avoid people that will sabotage your goals! Track your progress and share the results of your tracking. There are multiple social networks to help us with this, such as Facebook groups, or use an app on your phone.
- Establish some external rewards. As you reach each of your goals reward yourself! For example, if you have shed 20 pounds, go shopping for a new outfit or reward yourself with a massage.
- Avoid “all or nothing” thinking- anything you do is better than nothing. If you are busy and you can’t get to the gym, then go up and down the stairs at work for 15 minutes. Even if you do not have 45 minutes to meditate everyone can make time for 10 minutes at some point in the day. Think about how much better you will feel after this!
- Have patience and drop the self judgement- it is rarely motivating and is more likely to make us have that all or nothing response. “I ate a piece of cake so I might as well give up and eat more.” Instead, think “What can I do next time to deal with the stress in a different way?”
If you are interested in more help making your health goals a reality, contact us at VIDA Integrative Medicine. We are here to help you!