Making Lasting Change

Making Lasting Changes

“New Year, New Me.”

We have all said it at one point or another, and when the clock strikes midnight we resolve to make lasting changes. Everything from eat healthier, to exercise more, to learning a new skill or language, resolutions tend to be quite broad and all encompassing. Whatever our resolutions are, they tend to revolve around the theme of “making healthy choices.” Which is fantastic! Yet, despite our best intentions on January 1st, July rolls around and we realize that we are nowhere near our goal. Maybe you’re even like me and cannot remember what your resolutions were way back then! Life happens, and we get busy, and as is often the case, we lose our momentum.

The most common resolution is to lose weight and it is that resolution I would like to help with. Now, what I’m going to say isn’t going to be anything magical, and it’s probably something you will not want to hear, but if you take it to heart, you will find that you are much more likely to accomplish the goal of losing weight and being healthier. Most of us tend to dive into the deep end of our resolutions, and if that includes weight loss we tend to do the following: sign up for a gym membership, go nearly every day, push really really hard, drastically change our diet overnight, and so on. All of those can lead to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, but there is a problem.

Doing all those things, all at once, is biting off more than we can chew. We simply get overwhelmed and burnt out, which is why we tend to give up around Valentine’s day.

So how do we make those lasting changes without getting overwhelmed?

Make one small change at a time.

That’s it.

Make one small change at a time.

It isn’t popular and doesn’t sound all that exciting, but making one small change at a time builds momentum, and that moment will carry you through the entire year.

So it would look something like this.

Step 1: Identify how much weight you want to lose.

Step 2: Identify what “eating healthy” looks like for you (I follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of my meals are made at home and consist of whole foods, 20% of my food is whatever I choose.)

Step 3: Identify how often you will REALISTICALLY exercise in a given week.

Now, pick the most basic actions from steps 2 and 3.

That may look something like “this week I’ll drink 1 coke per day (instead of 2), and I will exercise for 30 minutes at the gym 2 days per week.”

Then, the next week you can do something like “Eat one less meal at a restaurant this week, and go walk in the park 1 day this week.”

And so it goes! Each week you make one small change, and those changes build on each other. After a few weeks you are exercising regularly, eating healthy, and will find yourself intentionally making healthier lifestyle choices. After a few months you will find that you have lost weight and feel like these new choices are just a part of your every day life. Then, by next January, you will have successfully met this year’s resolution.

Happy New Year everyone! If you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.