Although the ideal is that we all live healthy lives year round, the truth is that it’s not easy to do and this is the time of year we think about what we should be doing. Exercising, not smoking, and going on a diet are among the top resolutions people make every year on January 1. Unfortunately, most of us have already quit by now. It’s been over 10 days and many of these attempts only last about 3 days. Being realistic about what you can do is a big part of making your goals achievable. Did you tell yourself no sweets at all? Or no smoking starting NOW? Or that you’ll get up at 5 am and exercise every day? Balance is key to maintaining a habit and starting small can help you get there.
Some tips for being realistic and actually reaching your goals include:
- If you’re trying to do something like lose weight or improve your cholesterol, you need a baseline. Know where you are today and lay out a gradual plan for where you want to be. Get your cholesterol and other critical health values tested with a Basic Check Up test. Decide when you’ll go back for another test to see where you are. Make an appointment so that you have a hard deadline and very specific goal. If it’s weight loss get on the scale today and set a goal for where you’ll be in 3 months, 6 months or a year.
- Start small. Recent studies have shown that small changes can have a huge impact on your health. Walk for 20 minutes a day to start. Or cut out one unhealthy food a day. Once you see success and know that you are able to make one change, add another after a month and continue with small lifestyle changes that will reap large rewards down the road.
- Tell others what you are doing. Saying it out loud and reporting success to others is a big motivator. Even if they don’t ask how you’re doing, you’ll know that they’re thinking it.
- Give yourself an advantage by not surrounding yourself with the temptation you are trying to avoid. Keep your fridge clear of things you shouldn’t eat or drink. Throw away your cigarettes so they are hard to get when the craving hits. Look at restaurant menus before you go out and decide ahead of time, when you’re not hungry, what you will order.
- Give yourself a break! You will probably fall off the wagon. You’ll have that cigarette, eat that candy bar or those fries, or sleep in instead of working out. This doesn’t mean it’s time to give up and throw in the towel. It means you’re human. Try again at the next opportunity and give it another go.
- Finally, be realistic. Losing 20 pounds in a month may not be achievable. Thinking that you will be done with cigarettes in a week isn’t either. Do your research and plan realistically what you can do right now and what you can achieve in the long run.
Good Luck! And, it’s not too late even if you think you’ve already given up. Dust yourself off and give your goals in 2012 another chance!
Written by www.labtestingnow.com