2013-02-07 / Community

Hyst for the "Well" of it

Resolutions, anyone?

Cathy Kaltz Cathy Kaltz Here we are, well into the new year and it’s time to check on how we’re doing on those famous New Year’s resolutions. Didn’t make any? It’s not too late. Gave up after day three? It’s never too late.

The key to successfully accomplishing your resolved goals is to take small, baby steps toward your ultimate goals. Whenever you achieve one of the smaller steps, you’ll be rewarded by being closer to your ultimate goal and by realizing a sense of pride. You’ll also be more motivated to continue.

For example, let’s say you’d like to lose 20 pounds (and most of us would). In order to make it easier to stick to your plan break it down into smaller, more “do-able” phases.

That extra 20 didn’t show up overnight and it won’t go away that fast either. Start by telling yourself that you can do it. Then state your intentions, for example, “I would like to lose 20 pounds. In order for me to do this, I will eat more fruits and vegetables and increase my activity every week. This means, I’ll have some fruit everyday for breakfast, add a big salad to my daily menu, and will either add minutes or intensity to my current walking program. Since I love Cheez-it crackers, I will allow myself one pre-measured portion two times a week instead of killing the whole box at one time.”

This may not seem like a “diet” and that’s good, it’s the small lifestyle changes that will make the difference. A plan like this is easier to stick to because it’s not about total deprivation. That’s where we make our mistakes, going from one extreme to another. Smaller steps hurt less and are easier to adopt into a permanent lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix.

So, no matter what time of year it is, we can always make small changes that will have a big impact on our health and wellness.

There’s no reason we can’t start on St. Patrick’s Day, or July 4, the point is to do something, anything toward your ultimate goal. Just as long as we understand that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, just as long as it gets done.

Having a plan of action will help keep you on track and motivated and will also serve as a record of your progress. Each week, write down a small change you would like to make. Then record exactly how and when you’ll do it. Be very specific, but also very realistic.

Avoid saying you’ll do something every single day because we all know life can get in the way of our best intentions. Instead, commit to 3-5 days per week, that way if you do more you can be extra proud of your success.

Set a goal for six months from now and use your plan of action to work toward your goal each week. It’s almost painless if you take it slow. Don’t forget to reward yourself in some small way periodically to keep your motivation up and give yourself something to look forward to.

This method will work for helping you save money, being nicer to people, becoming more organized, or whatever you have chosen as your resolution this year.

Keep up a positive attitude, create a support team if you’d like, and stay motivated. You’ll see the results of your small changes adding up in no time at all and will soon be moving on to reach yet another goal. I will have more tips later this year to keep you on track. Good Luck!

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You can reach Cathy Kaltz, Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist, at (906) 286-0985.

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