How to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever

December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution You aren’t alone if you’re planning on ringing in the new year with a new you. About 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to a University of Scranton study. Weight loss tops the New Year’s resolution list, but only 8 percent of people who make resolutions are successful. Don’t let the odds bring you down. Let go of what kept you from your goals in years past and make this the year your resolution sticks. With just a little focus and determination, you can make 2014 your best year ever.

Be realistic and specific. A laundry list of things you want to accomplish is overwhelming and unproductive. I want to lose weight, I want to get organized, and I want to quit smoking are excellent thoughts, but they don’t include a plan to reach those goals. Be more specific. I will lose 20 percent of my body weight by exercising for 30 minutes every day, eating less junk food and more fruits and vegetables, and by cooking my own meals five times per week. This resolution includes a specific goal and an action to achieve it. A CMWL physician can help you determine your healthy weight and provide guidance to help you reach your goals.

Take a vacation. The dead of winter isn’t necessarily the best time to make a resolution. Winter blues may have you feeling down, so sticking to a resolution may feel tough. Schedule a vacation during this time to give yourself a break from the gloomy weather. University of Michigan researchers found taking a trip to a warmer climate in the middle of winter can improve mood, memory, and boost creative thoughts. Even a short getaway can reset your mind when you feel your New Year’s resolution slipping away. Schedule the trip now, so you have something to look forward to after the holiday season winds down.

Don’t sweat the small things. Making a change is a challenge. You’re going to face obstacles and probably eat one too many cookies at some point during your weight loss journey. One mishap doesn’t mean you should abandon your New Year’s resolution all together. If you do slip up, don’t dwell on it. It’s in the past, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Focus on moving forward and picture yourself at your goal weight. Keep that image in your mind and go back to it when you feel like you’re about to go off track.

Spend time with the people who matter most. A successful weight loss program relies on a strong support system. Surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good about yourself. These are the people who will tell you that you can when the little voice inside your head says you can’t. Positive attitudes are contagious, as are negative ones. Stay away from naysayers who aren’t looking out for your best interest.

Reward yourself when you reach milestones. You have a big goal in mind, but don’t discount the smaller milestones it takes to get there. Celebrate these stepping stones, and reward yourself in a healthy way. Get together with friends, get a massage, or take a mini vacation. You deserve it!

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