How to Avoid the New Year’s Slump to Reach Your Goals

reach goals

 

At this point in January, you may find that you’ve lost motivation and have gotten off track in sticking with the health resolutions you set for this year. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. You are far from alone! According to U.S. News, 80 percent of goal-setters drop their New Year’s resolutions by February.

So how do you pick yourself back up and stop yourself from throwing in the towel completely? Below are five tips to get you back on track so you can feel good about accomplishing your goals come December.

1. Revisit your “why”

There will be plenty of days when you don’t feel like doing what it takes to get healthy. The couch may be calling you to stay cozy instead of lacing up your sneakers and getting outside for a walk in the cold. When this happens, you need to know your “why” — the true, deep reason you want to achieve your goal.

For example, are you looking to lose weight? While looking better and being able to wear certain clothes are certainly good benefits of losing weight, they may not be strong enough reasons for you to commit to healthy eating and exercise over the long term. Getting healthy so you can be around to enjoy your grandchildren or to have the energy to give back to a cause you truly care about are some deeper reasons that may pull you off the couch time and again.

In a nutshell, when you have a strong connection to the reason for your goal, you are much more likely to be successful in reaching it.

2. Be realistic

Make sure your goals are attainable and avoid an “all or nothing” mentality. For example, don’t resolve to NEVER eat ice cream or French fries again. Instead, avoid these foods most of the time but allow yourself to mindfully indulge (and enjoy doing so without guilt) from time to time.

3. Break down big goals into small steps

Set small, attainable goals to work on each week that will help you work toward your larger goals. For each goal, write down every possible action you can think of that you will need to take to reach that goal. Then put the first few actions, or steps, on your calendar. Once those are done, add the next few steps and so on.

4. Track your progress

Keep track of and celebrate each small success to help you stay motivated. If your end goal is to lose 25 pounds, focus on 5 pounds at a time. Each time you lose 5 pounds, acknowledge and celebrate this smaller step toward your larger goal. Some ideas to celebrate might be going to the movies with a friend or buying yourself some new fitness gear.

One great way to track your progress is by keeping a food and/or exercise journal. You’ll be able to look back in your journal to remind yourself of all your hard work and see how far you’ve come. This is a great tool to keep you moving forward whenever you feel you’re losing steam or getting frustrated.

5. Enlist help

Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip your workout or grab a few cookies before dinner. Think about what works best for helping you to stay on track.

It may be as simple as reminding yourself of your “why” and thinking about how giving into temptation will derail you from the better future you want to create for yourself. If you need outside support and accountability, have a trusted friend or family member who you know you can call to help you when you’re facing temptation. Have a friend who is also working toward health resolutions? Propose that you’ll be each other’s accountability partners!

The key is to not let yourself get down when you occasionally get off track — life happens! Take it one day at a time and do the best you can each day. Remember, you still have 11 months to work toward your goals. Apply these tips and you’ll find yourself making great progress in no time.


Rethink Your New Year’s Resolution With These Healthy Eating Tips

Does your favorite workout spot feel unusually packed? In early January, there’s a pretty good chance that a whole host of new faces will appear at the gym, optimistic and ready to make good on their New Year’s resolutions. Diet and exercise are often the starting points for anyone willing to get behind a “new year, new you” attitude, and placing restrictions on the former seems to be the norm.

healthy eating tips

But before you start counting calories and cutting carbs, consider this: eating better, rather than eating less, is a much more manageable commitment that brings results—which means that it may be the one resolution you stick to all year long.

So which foods should you embrace, and which should you avoid? A good rule of thumb is to include more natural foods that people have enjoyed for centuries. Fruits, vegetable, nuts, fish and chicken are a great start. On the flip side, steer clear of anything ultra-processed, like pre-packaged snacks and meals, which tend to include high levels of sugar, sodium and processed fats.

One way to make sure you’re eating more natural, unprocessed foods is by shopping the “perimeter” of your grocery store and staying away from most of the inner aisles, which is where processed foods like chips, breads, and pre-packaged meals often live.

healthy eating tips

Don’t deny yourself every food you love, though. Completely cutting out particular foods often leads to cravings and binge eating, which means that eating smarter and more moderately may be a more achievable resolution than trying to drastically change your diet all at once. Healthy substitutes can often help to satiate cravings, as well. Reach for fruit instead of sweets, yogurt instead of ice cream, and granola bars instead of cookies so you’ll feel satisfied rather than guilty.

Weight-loss presents unique challenges for everyone, and sometimes diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to achieve the results you need. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor or surgeon about what weight loss surgery procedures will benefit you most in conjunction with the healthy lifestyle changes outlined above.

Welcome 2016 with these health-conscious changes to look and feel your best all year long! If you need help or have questions, contact Dallas Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Dirk Rodriguez.