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It’s that time of year. Lights are twinkling, merry music is playing, its getting colder and many start planning their New Years resolution. If part or all of that resolution for you is related to improving your diet, getting in shape or any variation of the two then this post is for you. Here are my top 5 tips for making your healthy resolution stick!

  1. Do not place an end goal on your resolution! No end dates. No set amount of weight lost. This is one time when setting a goal with an end in mind WILL FAIL YOU. I can not express strongly enough that diets fail every time because success is defined by an end result. Once that end result is achieved, guess what happens. Yep! The diligence and commitment to the process wanes. Cheat meals turn into cheat days, into cheat weeks etc. Before you know it you have completely undone all the good have done. Instead, define your resolution by a healthy change that can last a lifetime. Rather than, “I want to go Paleo to lose 20 lbs by June” try, “I want to go Paleo to lose weight and maintain that lost weight for the rest of my life.” A lifelong approach to the same goal of losing weight will force you to structure your approach and mindset in a way that will last. (As a side note, ever since making this lifelong change for myself 4 years ago, the notion that vacations, holidays, parties etc are valid reasons for eating poison is completely ridiculous to me. If cupcakes are poisonous on a random monday, they are still poisonous on my birthday. Why would I want to poison myself on my birthday? I’d rather go get a wonderful massage. But maybe that’s just me!)
  2. Set yourself up for success rather than failure! What I mean by this is know yourself and your tendencies and be reasonable. Whatever healthy change you decide to make to improve your health for life needs to be a change you can stick to FOR LIFE! Perhaps going full blown Paleo is a little too big of a leap for you if your usual menu consists primarily of meals in a box or bag. Maybe you are the type that needs to make changes gradually. Maybe you need to resolve to cook for yourself 4 days a week. Or maybe the gradual change won’t work for you and you have to just jump right in. (Jumping right in is totally me!) If so, do what you need to do to remove the noise and traps that will trip you up. Start by purging your pantry and fridge. Just toss out all the crap.
  3. Surround yourself with people that have your back! There is nothing that will derail a healthy lifelong change more than a saboteur. I hate to say it, but it’s true. There may be a person or people in your life that for their own insecure reasons, want to keep you in the place where they feel most comfortable. Maybe its your drinking buddies, your smoking group, your regular “starbucks run” pals. The toughest is when those saboteurs are part of your family. It can be really scary for some people who have known you and loved you the way you’ve always been and just can’t see why you feel the need for a change. They may tell you that you are wrong in some way, or belittle your efforts and successes. They may go out of their way to tempt you with the poison you once loved. I can think of several examples of friends and clients who have had to deal with unsupportive people along their journey to good health. Most have come from a life where their closest loved ones are overweight and live an unhealthy lifestyle themselves. Unfortunately, while these people do love you, they are not equipped to help you. As you travel along your own path you will meet people who are on the same or similar path. Join hands and support each other.
  4. Exploit your strengths not your weaknesses! Focusing on improving on what you suck at will produce some positive results. It will. However, focusing on what you already do well and improving it will have outstanding results! Stop beating yourself up for being a crappy cook. Practice it and you will get better, cookbooks can go a long way to help in that department and you don’t have to slave away designing your own recipes. But if you are great at making friends and/or getting along with others, there is no better way to learn a new healthy way of life for you than getting out there and joining groups who tend toward a healthier way of life. Heck, start a new group that likes to eat out and visit establishments that have Paleo friendly options.  Or maybe your strengths and weaknesses are the other way around. Perhaps you are introverted but know your way around a kitchen or are a fast learner. Focus on learning one new skill or one new aspect of that healthy life. Own it! Live it! Then you will find you are confident enough to share it with others.
  5. Lastly, Whatever change you decide to make, do it out of love for yourself! Don’t get me wrong, doing something positive for the benefit of others is noble and can provide some really powerful motivation. But in this endeavor it is ok to BE SELFISH!! You must make a conscious decision to be good to yourself for this change to stick. You must truly believe that making this lifelong change is because you love yourself. You deserve the absolute best that you can do for yourself within your means. I know far too many people who feed their pets better than they feed themselves. When our babies are born, we want to feed them the best food we can get our hands on yet we are willing to feed ourselves complete crap because it tastes good. What is interesting is that the longer you eat healthy, whole, natural foods the yuckier fast, processed, nutrient-void foods taste. Give it a try and you will know exactly what I mean. Another component to this is loving yourself enough to forgive yourself when you slip up. This happens! You will be at a party or out to dinner and that cupcake will be calling your name. You eat it. It was delicious. So, what? Move on. It does not have to mean that you might as well continue to abuse your body by plying it full of all the crap within reach. IT IS WHAT YOU EAT MOST OF THE TIME THAT MATTERS. NOT WHAT YOU EAT OCCASIONALLY.   Approach this resolution out of love and respect for yourself.

I could keep going but the title of this post is Top 5. The only other thing I think is worth mentioning here is why wait? Why wait until January 1st? Because you have parties attend and a vacation coming up? Making some positive changes now might actually help you get through this season without totally blowing yourself up. Just a thought. 😉

 

Happy Holiday’s and Until Next TIme,

~ Laura, MGP

 

 

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