Making Healthy Resolutions: The Recipe for Success
As January 1st, 2017 approaches, many of us have new year's health resolutions on our minds (including this author!) Actually, many people are surprised to find out that I don't "live the naturopathic lifestyle" 365 days a year, and especially not around the holidays. By the time the week after Christmas rolls around, I'm cursing myself as I eat one more dairy and sugar-filled cookie and yet another day goes by that I've neglected to go to the gym. Despite our best intentions, we are all human, and as one of my mentors would say, "Everything should be in moderation, and sometimes even moderation should be in moderation."
That's why we look to January 1st as our "clean slate" day. I frequently see new year's resolutioners mocked on social media by people who admonish that the changes won't last anyway, so why bother starting? I'm not into the self-fulfilling prophecy attitude. Wanting to make significant health changes and using the new year as your springboard is just as admirable as choosing to do it any other day. However, resolution-disparagers do have a point. One statistic shows that only 8% of people who make new year's resolutions actually achieve their goals. What a shame! Should we chalk this up to a lack of willpower, commitment, and mental fortitude? I don't think so.
My belief is that most people fail at their resolutions because they lack a structured plan of action and guidance. This especially applies to goals that are based around health, most commonly referred to as "getting in shape," or weight loss. In my opinion, people who create a goal called, "weight loss," are already starting off on the wrong foot. This might be surprising, but in my office, I tell my clients that I don't believe in weight loss as a goal, because it is inherently negative. It's saying, "I don't like the fat tissue on my body, and I want to force it to go away," which is negative and harmful psychologically. Everyone should love the body they are in! A better goal is, "I resolve to feel better, have more energy, get strong, and have a positive relationship with my body." Now THAT is a resolution, and guess what? Weight loss is frequently a "side-effect."
The question becomes, how do we go about achieving these goals, and more importantly, how do we do it in a sustainable manner? Here are the three things that I consider to be the formula for success.
1. Make a structured, REALISTIC plan that has a "step-by-step" feel to it
2. Get educated about WHY you are making the changes you are making BEFORE you set the plan in motion
3. Have a support system in place, and ideally, a coach that will help guide you through these changes
I follow this exact formula both for myself and for all of my clients. These foundational objectives lay the groundwork for success. I'm a firm believer that every single person deserves to feel happy and well, and there's not better time to start than now. 2017 has the potential to be anyone's best year yet, but the first step is always the most difficult to take. In order to facilitate my fellow "New Year's Goal Setters," I am doing two things:
1. Starting January 1st, 2017, Dr. Alsop and I are going to "walk the talk."
We will make and post our own new year's resolutions
We will share all the bad "end of year" habits we've gotten into
We will share what lifestyle changes we are making, like our diets, exercise plans, and supplementation programs
We will share our "before" photos
We will update our readers with our progress on this blog, on social media, and in every newsletter (be sure to sign up!)
We will post our progress every 1-2 weeks
2. We are offering a limited-time, all-inclusive "New Year, New You," wellness program
This new program will focus on the tenets of restoring and optimizing health, like our exclusive gut-healing and liver detoxification protocol, as well as energy improvement and getting in shape. You can find all the details of the program by clicking the button below!
Have a happy new year and be well!