Please enjoy this guest post by blogger, nurse and writer, Kathryn Norcutt.
To conduct a foolproof study on healthy resolutions, visit any gym during the month of January. Take note of how many people are sweating off the holiday indulgences. Return in February, and watch the attendance begin to diminish. By March, the numbers will have dwindled so low that you can park your car by the front door.
For many people, healthy resolutions are a passing dream that usually fizzles out after a few months, weeks, or even days. The motivation to lose a few pounds burns strong as you gobble up that last piece of pie before the real diet begins. However, it is this exact mentality that explains why people simply can’t stick to their resolutions.
Here is a mini lesson on linguistics that holds the key to keeping your healthy resolutions. To truly be successful in this endeavor, first examine the background of the word resolution. To fulfill a resolution requires resolve. Resolve is not a fleeting emotion but rather a dogged determination to persevere regardless of circumstances.
This type of resolve demands a total lifestyle change, not merely the wishful thinking that results in temporary change. Diets typically fail for this reason. A diet is not a sustainable way of life, not to mention how most diets destroy your metabolism and rob your body of lean muscle mass.
To actually keep your resolutions, you must be willing to put for the effort that brings about real and lasting change. This is not always an easy task, especially if your job requires you to travel, but it can be done. Here are some steps to get you started on your journey of health.
Write Out Your Goals: There is something about the written word that is more permanent. This is why we now use contracts rather than handshakes and verbal agreements. When you write down your goals you make them real. They are no longer a dream that rattles around in your head; they become tangible and visible. This should be done in a notebook or journal that you can easily access but that won’t get lost amid stacks of paperwork or bills.
Find an Accountability Partner: An accountability partner who is also trying to lose weight can be a huge motivation. You can help to push each other when it gets tempting to throw in the towel. Just make sure that this person shares your determination. An accountability partner who celebrates weight loss with a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s isn’t likely to help your efforts. Enlist the support of others by telling your friends, family and coworkers about your new lifestyle. You will be encouraged at how your victories can motivate them to change their own habits.
Chart Your Progress: Have a weekly weigh-in that occurs at the same time and on the same day each week. Monitoring your progress is extremely encouraging when you are doing well. For those times when you falter, a progress chart helps you to examine the factors that have thrown off your success. Consider a food diary and workout log as well to ensure that you are sticking to your goals.
Plan, Plan, Plan: As with any endeavor, you must plan and diligently work toward success. If you are on the road frequently, invest in a small cooler to carry in your car. Load it up with healthy snacks that can be eaten on the go. Pack healthy lunches instead of constantly eating out and relying on the mercy of whatever restaurants happen to be nearby. Reward yourself for each small victory, but make sure that your rewards don’t set you back on your journey. Rather than celebrating with chocolate lava cake, get a massage or do something you enjoy that does not revolve around food.
Be Patient: Remember that you are on a lifelong journey and there will be setbacks along the way. Don’t expect instant results. Picture yourself in a marathon rather than a sprint. Be patient with yourself as you integrate daily choices into your new, healthy way of life.
Kathryn Norcutt has been an active member of the health care community for over 20 years. During her time as a nurse, she has helped people from all walks of life and ages. Now, Kathryn leads a much less hectic life and devotes most of her free time to writing for RNnetwork, a site specializing in travel nursing.