The New Year is here and the question on everyone’s mind is: “What is your New Year’s resolution for 2011?”
There are both positives factors and drawbacks when it comes to making resolutions. Verbalizing a resolution makes it real and helps to hold us accountable. Another positive is that, typically, resolutions revolve around something that is good for us — whether it be for our mind, body or soul. On the downside, we sometimes make resolutions that are too dramatic or overwhelming and not maintainable, even if they are accomplished at the onset.
I am proposing that this year, you make resolutions that are achievable, maintainable, good for your health and behavior- oriented.
If you want to lose 25 pounds this year, think about the behaviours you will need to practice to achieve weight loss and overall good health. If you focus on the behaviours , you will find it easier to make the changes and the outcome will happen naturally.
It is also suggested that you work on one behaviour per two week period. This way you can focus on one thing without being overwhelmed trying to be perfect in all areas. Trying to focus on too much all at once usually leads to disappointment, and abandoning the goal altogether. After two weeks, the single behavior like taking stairs instead of the elevator should be easy to maintain and you can move on to another behaviour.
If you are not sure where to start, I have provided a list of great behaviour modifications that might kick-start your path to achieving your resolution!
- Get moving. Try to get your heart pumping at a healthy rate for 30 minutes every day. The minutes do not have to be cumulative and they don’t have to be in a gym. The benefit of our Canadian winters is that we can go snowshoeing, skiing, shovel, build a snowman…and it all counts toward your 30 minutes!
- Work your muscles-hard. Between the ages of 25-65, the average adult will lose 5-10 pounds of lean mass per decade which equals a reduction in metabolism of up to 25%. This slowdown is preventable and reversible no matter when you start strength training. Give yourself a gift this year and invest in Personal Training to ensure that you keep your precious muscle mass and metabolism high and stay injury free while doing so.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Make it high in lean protein and healthy fats (like those found in eggs and salmon) every day. Studies show that overweight and obese individuals are those most likely to skip breakfast. Give your brain and body the fuel it needs to perform during the day. Surprising to some is that breakfast eaters actually consume fewer calories throughout the day than non-breakfast eaters.
- Eat more fruits and veggies of a variety of colors. We simply do not eat enough. So instead of making a list of foods you can’t eat, aim to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption so that you are less inclined to grab the junk.
- Limit processed foods. Food that is not a natural color, or comes in a box, or has a shelf life should be limited. Do your body a favor and eat natural foods as much as possible.
- Do something good for your mind and soul regularly. Yoga, meditation, scrapbooking, or reading. Whatever relaxes you and leaves you feeling peaceful and rested is something you should integrate into your regular schedule. Don’t save these things for special occasions; make them part of your daily life.