It’s that time of year again and everyone is talking about what they are going to stop or start doing to create perfect health. Make this year the year you actually reach your goals by looking at the “new year” in a new way. Lake Health wellness coach Lydia Skiljan shares how:
“Never, never, never give up” is a famous quote by Winston Churchill. Thomas Edison made many unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before he succeeded. We think of those as experiments, not failures. Think of your attempts at healthy habits as “experiments” too. You can’t know how to do something until you know how NOT to do something.
Explain your goal. Research shows that we are more likely to accomplish goals that are SMART—specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic and timely. So, instead of vowing to “drink more water,” a SMART goal is to drink one 12 oz. bottle of water at each meal, daily. It’s easier to track your success that way, too!
What’s your why? Give some thought to how reaching your goal will affect your life. You might want to lose 20 pounds, but why? If you focus on the fact that you want to be able to get on the floor with your grandchildren or you want to have more energy and less pain when you take that hiking vacation with your wife, it will keep you motivated longer.
Yell it from the rooftop! Studies show that if you share your goals with other people, you are more likely to succeed at reaching them. So, tell a friend or two…they can also be a good source of support when your motivation lacks.
Expect progress, not perfection. Start the year with small, realistic goals not a laundry list of all the things you want to change about yourself. Instead of vowing to eat salad every day, try adding a piece of fruit to your lunch one day.
Accept yourself…and accept what is. If you don’t reach your goals as quickly as you wanted to or you don’t reach them at all, it’s ok. Every attempt at a healthy behavior change is a win. Even if you don’t get there, you now know what doesn’t work.
Role play in your mind. Practice makes perfect and mental practice counts! A growing body of evidence shows mental practice can be remarkably effective for learning new skills, improving performance and even strengthening your body. So start practicing choosing the fruit plate for dessert before you even leave for the restaurant.
About the Author
Lydia Skiljan, Lake Health wellness coach, supports her clients in making healthy lifestyle changes for the long term. Wellness coaching focuses on mindfulness, fitness, weight management, basic nutrition, stress management and behavioral changes.To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a wellness coach at the Lake Health Brunner Sanden Deitrick Wellness Campus, call 440-701-7537.