With the start of every New Year, we all hope there's a healthy new us just around the corner. Instead of finding the same old us two or three months from now, here are a few things we can do differently this year:
- Document everything. Start a journal. Make a chart. Take pictures of yourself. If you can see evidence of the progress you're making, you'll be more encouraged.
- Start small. If a task is too big, it can overwhelm us. Make small specific goals, like “I will substitute water for two sodas.”
- Be prepared. Don't give yourself any reasons why you can't keep on track. Keep the gym shoes and clothes ready to go. Have healthy snacks in the fridge. Keep a list of alternatives to smoking on hand.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep loss can cause increased weight gain, along with other health problems. If you're giving up nicotine, extra sleep may help with the withdrawal.
- Exercise! Exercise helps control appetite! Exercise helps with stress! It keeps you warm when it's cold outside! Your body will release endorphins and you will be happy! Just keep repeating these things to yourself!
- Get help if you need it. Professional personal trainers can help set up a meal plan and exercise regimen specific for you and your daily schedule. Smokers can get free advice and counseling by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Don't give up. Most people give up on their New Year resolutions within 4 weeks. Try to stick with your plan for at least 6-12 weeks. If you aren't getting the results you wanted, re-evaluate your program and start again!