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How to Keep Your New Year’s Health Resolutions:

The New Year is upon you, and like so many which have come before, you have mustered up your determination regarding all the things you will do differently in 2022 to become more fit and healthy.

We call it “making resolutions” because we hope to be resolute in our efforts to manage ourselves differently than we did the year before. So what does being resolute mean? It is defined as “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.”

So, if we are thinking in this admirably purposeful determined way in January, why is it that most of us fall off the wagon and revert to our status quo habits by February 1st?

Some would say we have good intentions, but alas, we are humans, and humans tend to do, well, what they are accustomed to doing which is whatever is familiar- even though it may not produce the results they are looking for.

Simply put, we are creatures of habit.

This has been the struggle of man since the beginning of time. The bible exemplifies this common conundrum in Romans verse 7:15 which states: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. That which I ought to do, I do not do, and that which I ought not do, that I do.”

What does that mean? It means, pinch yourself- you are human and you are not alone. Given our propensity then for the status quo, what is a human with good intentions to do to create follow through that lasts the whole year through?

For starters, let’s stop what is not working:

1. STOP TRYING HARDER

I hear “ I just need to try harder” or “ I lack willpower” from many of my wellness clients who come to me after they have “tried everything” to lose weight, or eat healthier, or get into a work out regimen that they can live with. Clients also share things like, “I have tried the such and such diet… I lost weight, but then gained it back.” Stop trying harder. Doing the same thing over and over with no positive result is insanity. It is a precious waste of your time, energy and money and wreaks havoc on your emotions when it does not work time and time again.

2. STOP TRYING TO GO IT ALONE

You do what you do, because it is all you know to do. Many of us were raised in the “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” era that programmed us, albeit not beneficially, that if we want to accomplish anything, we have to do it ourselves. This is nonsense, and a poor ideology at best.

3. STOP FOLLOWING THE LATEST AND GREATEST DIETS AND FADS

Diets are like rabbits. They multiply quickly. One friend goes on a diet, and tells another, and so on and so on… What if you gave yourself permission to never be “on a diet” again? I shared this idea with one of my clients recently who has been on a lifelong path of yo-yo dieting. The only thing her dieting has produced is excess weight and a whole lot of mental and emotional anguish.

Instead of the aforementioned, do the following:

1. Become informed with new knowledge.

Do you need to learn a bit about how your brain works? Why do you think the way you do? What habits have you become accustomed to doing without a thought as to why you do them? There is research and information that can help you to learn more about yourself, so that you are armed with new information to make some different choices. Are you addicted to food or sugar? Seek the help of a trained counselor, nutritionist, naturopath, or health coach who can help you to understand what makes you tick and assist you to formulate a new plan. which brings us to…

2. Enlist the help of a trained professional in addition to creating a support team who can help you achieve your goals.

Contrary to the boot strap thinking, I find I am much more successful to make lasting and permanent changes when I am not only armed with new information, but also employ what I call the A/E Buddy System ™. This works because you enlist the help of a spouse, supportive partner, friend, co-worker or other, who has similar goals and is as serious about meeting them as you are. Your mission is to encourage one another while holding each others’ feet to the fire. ( Hence, A – Accountability, and E- Encouragement)

Think of it this way. Adam had the whole perfect world at his fingertips, yet God still knew he needed a helpmate. We need one another to spur us on to success!

3. Equip yourself with some basic “never-go-out-of –style” tools that you can live with for life.

Mamma really did know best when she said to “eat all your vegetables.” Today with all the research on nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals, we know a lot more about nutrition then we did in our mother’s era. For example, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a great way to have more energy, less toxicity, a stronger immune system and a better likelihood of maintaining appropriate weight. Steering your diet towards whole organic foods (from nature) and eating further away from the factory are also beneficial for a healthier well functioning body.

In addition, find several activities that move your body and work up a sweat that you enjoy, and schedule them into your week. Varying your activity will make it more likely that you will stick with it. Our local YMCA provides ample opportunity for this. Perhaps you will swim 2 days a week, go to a Zumba class once a week, and lift weights 3 times a week. Add an A/E buddy to your plan for added assurance that you have someone to either work out with, or that will be following up to see that you followed through!

Only you can determine how resolute you are willing to be. Change does not come easily for most and will unlikely come at all for those who are unwilling to become informed and seek help and support to actively engage in a growth process. Is this the year you suspend the status quo button in favor of acting in a way that will put you on the path to what you really desire? We hope your answer is yes, because life is short, and we wish for you to live it well.

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