Today, Molly Wangsgaard, Corporate Dietitian and Program Development Manager for Jenny Craig, Inc., joins us as the featured guest blogger for the final time. Throughout December she shared her insights on surviving the holiday and impending new year in a healthy and enjoyable manner.
It’s that time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat more nutritiously or become more active. Unfortunately for many of us, by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, these goals are but a distant memory.
Often this occurs because we set goals that are too ambitious or too vague, or because we fall victim to the “all-or-nothing” mentality that suggests we’ve “failed” if we lapse just once.
This year, make kinder, gentler and more realistic goals. Create an action plan of healthy habits you’d like to learn, with reasonable milestones for achieving them. And treat the process itself as a journey where you discover more about yourself along the way.
Treat slip-ups as hiccups. A lapse is a temporary interruption in your plan—a time when you got off track in achieving your goals. Maybe you ate more than you planned when socializing with your friends, or didn’t walk for a few days when the weather was bad. Instead of getting derailed by feelings of guilt, treat the lapse as a learning opportunity. Retrace your steps, evaluate what happened and plan a new strategy to manage the same situation differently the next time.
Get by with a little help from your friends. Recruit a walking buddy, invite a friend to a cooking class, or encourage your work colleague to bring a sack lunch instead of going out. By having a “partner in lifestyle change,” you’ll be more accountable – and therefore more likely to reach your goals. Plus, you’ll reap the social and emotional benefits of spending time with people you care about.
Personalize the benefits. Improved energy, better health and a slimmer appearance are general benefits of many health-related behavior changes. Instead of thinking in general terms, make the benefits personal to you. For example, I will follow through with my activity goals in order to have more energy to play with my children, run a 5k race in the spring, and have greater confidence to wear a swimsuit at the beach. Think of these as your personal motivators, write them down and keep expanding your list throughout the year.
Have a happy, healthy New Year!
If you would like to apply to be featured as a guest blogger, please contact us.
December 30th, 2008