Make 2010 a year of success!
The tradition of making New Year's resolutions dates back 4000 years to ancient Babylonia where the most common resolutions were to return borrowed money and equipment. According to the USA.GOV website today's most common resolutions include losing weight, getting out of debt, getting fit, reducing stress, and finding a better job. Around 50% of Americans make resolutions but less than 15% follow through for the entire year. Failing to follow through with New Year's resolutions may not only result in continuing living with unhealthy habits and feelings but, if you are truly disappointed in yourself for failing to follow through, it can lead to additional stress or depression which may even contribute to additional weight gain, lack of energy to participate in activities including exercise and other unhealthy stress related habits This year don't just make a resolution to change, but a resolution to succeed as well.
Start by keeping your resolution realistic. Setting a goal of losing 20 pounds a month is unrealistic for most people and failure to do so by January 31st may cause the disappointment which increases the likelihood of giving up. Instead, set a goal to lose weight steadily, taking into account that temptations and set backs will occur. Be honest with yourself when they do, but be kind as well. If you find yourself feeling deprived and left out while the rest of the family indulges in pizza, have a small slice with your big salad, but don't expect to be a pound down on the scale the next day. Slip ups will happen but don't let them discourage you, pick up and go on.
Next, feel good about small milestones. Don't kick yourself for not losing 5 pounds when you can celebrate losing just two. It's much easier to give up when you are discouraged. Planning ahead will also just help you get through the day. Planning your meals for the week and doing the shopping so everything is ready is one way to increase your chance of success in dieting. Knowing when temptations will arise to smoke, drink, spend money etc. gives you the opportunity to stratagize ways to avoid them. Lunch at the mall? Carry only enough cash to pay for your meal and leave the credit cards at home. Long meeting with other smokers? Pack gum and an herbal calming agent. Dinner out with a client? Check the restaurant's menu online ahead of time so you can decide on the best choices.
Finally, have a plan, in more ways than one. Below you will find a link to a Dream Goals list my mentor, Dr. Inge Wetzel sent me several years ago. Taking the time to visualize how your goal will be actualized can help keep you on track.