Column: New year, new resolutions
Will 2019 be the year you finally follow through on your weight loss resolutions and make yourself a weight loss success story? It can be. New Year's resolutions are about trying new behaviors and making them new habits. So, to help you get started on your New Year's weight-loss goals, here are some tips that have worked for many people.
• Find your real reason for losing weight. Make sure you've dug deep to identify your personal why and then write it down. This process uncovers a strong internal motivation that will help you stick with new healthy weight loss behaviors for more than a few weeks.
• Be honest and on a scale of 1-10 rate just how high on your life's priority list losing weight really is. Doing so will reveal whether you are truly ready to make a change. If your score is below a 6, then you are unlikely to do what needs to be done to successfully lose that weight.
• Attack your weight loss with new friends, new places, new routines and new behaviors that will all help with weight-loss success. And, most important of all — surround yourself with like-minded people who share your desire to lose weight.
• Map out a plan rather than just say, "I'm going to lose weight." A plan is filled with details, so be specific like aiming for 10 pounds or training for a 5K run.
• Tell everyone about your goals. Doing so puts the pressure on you to stick with it and show others that you truly have what it takes to lose weight.
• Have a backup plan for those days when it's nearly impossible to stick to your goals. Rather than beat yourself up for having too many carbs for dinner, resolve yourself to take a pre-bedtime walk to reduce the dieting damage. The important thing is that you stay focused despite the occasional slip-ups.
• Put in 100 percent effort — because that's what it really takes to lose weight.
• Break your goals into manageable chunks that will provide you with achievements and rewards that will fuel your willpower to stick with your weight loss goals.
• Have a default autopilot plan to help you cope with that fading of initial resolution excitement that typically occurs after the first 4-6 weeks. Having a default autopilot plan such as a scheduled walking date with a close friend can boost your willpower to carry on.
Perhaps the most important part of achieving your new year, new you resolutions are being realistic in your expectations. Trying to achieve a healthy weight is a lifelong journey, and some weeks will go better than others. Be kind to yourself when you slip up to stay motivated for the long term. Follow these tips and I know you'll be happy you made some resolutions for this new year.