Your Tahoe Health: 10 tips to make lasting changes with your New Year’s Resolution
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Every year we make resolutions and set goals with the best of intentions. This is the year we resolve to lose weight, save more money or finally pursue that dream job.
But for most people, the energy and drive slowly subsides as the days go by and, before we know it, we are back in our old habits and routines. Our resolutions can end up becoming one more thing on our to-do list that doesn’t get done.
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to achieve all of your goals. With the proper mindset, a few new tools and the right support team, 2017 really will be the year that you create new habits and turn your dreams into reality.
Here are 10 tips to help you making lasting changes:
1. Set clear, specific goals:
The more details you have and the clearer the picture in your mind, the more likely you are to succeed. Write your goals down and read them every morning before you start your day.
2. Use positive language:
Make sure the goal speaks to the positive change, not the negative behavior you are trying to overcome.
For example, if you are trying to get out of debt, you might set a goal of having a zero credit card balance, rather than a goal of being out of debt. Subconsciously, your mind will then seek ways to get to that zero balance, rather than focusing on debt.
3. Schedule time to work on your goal:
Block off time in your calendar for the necessary activities to achieve your goal. Make your goal a priority. That means that it is not the first thing to go when life gets busy.
For example, if you want to increase your activity, schedule the number of days and the amount of time you will need to work out each week. If eating healthy is an issue and you tend to grab food on the go, plan time in your calendar for cooking and preparing healthy meals.
4. Give yourself a deadline:
A goal without a deadline is really just a wish. A measurable timeline may provide enough internal pressure to get you moving toward your goal right away. Plan time to revisit your goals every month to see if they need to be adjusted.
5. Focus on how you want to feel:
How you will feel when you achieve your goal? Practice bringing up that feeling when you think about your goal. Some words to consider are: confident, happier, lighter, empowered, joyful or freedom.
6. Use affirmations:
Make them clear, simple, positive, in the present tense, and use “feeling” words. For example: I feel confident, healthy, and light in my body. Repeat the affirmations often, mentally or out loud, even if you have to fake it until you make it!
7. Focus on progress, not perfection:
You are likely to have setbacks. When you fall off track, brush it off and be compassionate with yourself. Give yourself a pep talk — as if you were talking to your best friend. Think about what has been working and remember that you are a work in progress.
8. Announce your goals:
Tell the world — or at least the people you know will support you. You are more likely to hold yourself to your goals when you have shared them with others.
You can find a partner who is working on goals of their own and plan time every week to check in and share the actions that you want to be accountable for.
9. Surround yourself with positive people:
Find others who are also inspired to achieve their goals. Limit time with the naysayers. When you need inspiration, reach out to the people who you admire. When you’re feeling inspired, look to see if there is anyone you can lift up.
Do this as often as possible, in as much detail as possible, while doing your best to activate the feeling you will have when you accomplish your goal.
As you visualize, you strengthen the pictures in your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind will then actively look for ways to turn the pictures in your mind into your reality.
If losing weight is your goal this year, we’d love to help you. The Weigh to Go program tackles your health from three of the most important angles — exercise, nutrition, and stress management, while also providing education and accountability in order to help you create new, healthier habits.
For more information, please call the Tahoe Center for Health & Sports Performance at 530-587-3769.
Nikki Dean, E-YRT 500, CES, BS is a member of Rethink Healthy Team, a service of Tahoe Forest Health System. For more information on wellness programming and services, contact 530-587-3769.