It’s Not too Late to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

It's Not too Late to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

By , Certified Diabetes Educator—Virtua Diabetes Care

On December 31 each year, we all make New Year’s resolutions with positive goals like running a 5K, eating more fruits and vegetables or getting healthy, in general. But often by March, our diets have suffered a “death by chocolate.”

Don’t fret. With these tips, you’ll get back on track.  

It’s okay to be gray

Sometimes, we create these all-or-nothing, black-and-white goals that are impossible to keep— like saying you’ll never eat dessert again. But that just sets you up for failure.

Instead, we encourage people to select more reasonable “gray” goals like, “I will have dessert but only on the weekend.” Think of it like this—there are 21 meals in week. Just because you overindulged at two of them doesn’t mean you failed. You can lose weight making healthy choices MOST of the time.

Take baby steps

If you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in 23 years, you can still get in shape. You’re never too old or too far gone to get fit. 

We like to tell our patients to “start low and go slow.” Start by walking just 5 minutes daily for the week and be consistent. If you establish good habits, you’ll improve in time.

If you feel good walking 5 minutes a day, then next week try walking 10 minutes a day. Increase your activity by just 5 minutes each week. Before you know it, you’ll achieve the goal of exercising 30 minutes most days of the week.

Keep it real

Patients often have ambitious goals, like wanting to lose 100 pounds. But, studies show that losing even 10% of your body weight yields great improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Set an initial goal of a 10% weight loss. That’s something most people can achieve in a year. Meeting smaller goals is empowering and can help build your sense of confidence to achieve more.

Don’t go it alone

Get support from friends who have the same goals in mind. Starting an exercise regimen or quitting smoking is easier with a buddy who wants the same thing. Together you will find encouragement and accountability.

Have a daily affirmation

Why have you chosen this resolution? What is your motivation? Perhaps your trigger was a health scare or a desire to live a healthier life. It’s powerful to say your resolution or write it daily to reaffirm it to yourself. “I want to quit smoking because I want to be around for my grandchildren.” Or, “I want to exercise, so I will lower my risk for a heart attack.”

These are just a few tips to encourage you as you’re working toward your goals. If you need a little extra help or motivation, Virtua’s weight loss and nutrition team is here for you. Our nurses and dietitians are here to create a realistic plan with you, as well as to inspire and motivate you as you work toward your health goals.

Call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 for an appointment.   

Updated March 15, 2017

Registered Dietitian

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