Did you lose those 20 pounds you wanted to this year? Maybe you promised yourself you would quit smoking, but lit up after only three days.
You may not have accomplished the goals you set last year, but that’s no reason to feel defeated. There is something about a brand new year that seems to give us a clean slate.
According to WebMD.com, one of the keys to being successful when it comes to New Year’s resolutions includes having a realistic expectation of what you are trying to achieve.
Instead of vowing to lose 50 pounds, why not start with 10? Losing that first 10 pounds will more than likely motivate you to keep going. Or if you want to get in shape, don’t go out and buy a membership to an expensive fitness center right away. Start small by taking walks around the block. Or try out Zumba or Pilates in your basement and see what works for you.
Maybe your goal is to stop eating junk food. You can start by trading those greasy potato chips in for crackers. Do you load your plate at dinnertime? Drink a glass of water before a meal to help you feel fuller so you will eat less. Decline the pie and ice cream for dessert. Instead, have a dish of Jell-O or a piece of fruit.
If you have a craving for sweets or snack foods, eat a piece of fruit or celery sticks, or do something to keep busy until the craving subsides. The more you resist the craving, the easier it gets.
You also need to change your attitude about what you are doing. Think of it as creating healthier habits, instead of giving up all the things you love. Remember why you are doing it and what you will gain as a result.
Another key to achieving success is practicing self-control. Despite how we sometimes feel, we really are in control of brain. According to Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer at Hazelden, the well-known addiction treatment center, our the part of the brain that controls willpower and self-control is like a muscle; the more we use it, the stronger it gets.
Another good way to stay focused and motivated while creating healthier habits is by joining the Live Healthy Challenge.
The 10-week challenge begins Jan. 23 and goes until March 31. Teams consist of 2-10 people and can include co-workers, friends, or family. The team-oriented challenge is great for all fitness levels and is designed to promote positive changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
The Live Healthy Challenge was started in 2001 as a way to raise awareness about obesity in America, and to show that adopting healthy habits can not only be beneficial, but fun, as well.
Several events are planned as part of the Live Healthy Challenge, including the 5K run/walk and 1K kids run, scheduled for Saturday, April 8, 2017 in several Iowa communities, including Hiawatha. Other events include Strut Your Pup and Burst Your Thirst. More information can be found on the Live Healthy Iowa website.
Registration for the Live Healthy 10-Week Challenge is $20 and can be done online at livehealthyiowa.org.