January Issue, 2016
We have all made New Year's resolutions that failed. Whether it is to stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more, or eat healthy, any of these changes are difficult to make. While intentions are good, they are not enough to carry us through the reality of making such changes. The biggest barriers to success are unrealistic goals, and poor planning.
The goal in making the desired change is for it to become a habit. Creating good habits takes more than good intentions; it takes motivation, commitment and planning.
#1. Motivation: You need to be internally motivated. You cannot make changes for someone else or an upcoming event.
#2. Commitment: You must be committed to making the changes and sustaining them. For example, long term studies on weight loss show that it took an average of 6-8 weeks to turn a lifestyle change into a habit.
#3. Planning: Identify the barriers that have kept you from achieving your goal. You need to plan for the reality of the changes: The physical tools (e.g. exercise equipment, work out cloths, time) and social tools (weight loss group, exercise buddy).
Set small goals or steps to reach your ultimate goal such as losing weight in 5 lb. increments to reach 30 pounds.
Plan for what will sabotage your efforts whether it is hunger at 3PM, or the desire to smoke after the evening meal, and create an effective diversion/substitution.
There is an excellent step by step guide for changing habits that can be found at:
Changing Your Habits: Steps to Better Health
Happy New Year From My Medical Access
From the Desk of Melissa Skaff-Schultz, MS, ARNP-C.