From Florida Hospital - Apopka
Lose weight. Hit the gym. Eat healthier. Be less stressed. Fit into those old jeans. Do any of these ring a bell as your New Year’s resolutions? If they do, you might want to start by breaking them.
Many New Year’s resolutions have good intensions, but the fact of the matter, according to Patrick Faulk, Fitness & Wellness Manager at Florida Hospital Institute for Lifestyle Medicine, is that the best New Year’s resolution is a holistic promise to yourself to live healthfully.
If you look at your resolutions singularly and focus only on “weight” or “exercise,” for example, you are setting yourself up for failure,” said Faulk. Why? Because you’re not truly digging in, setting realistic goals, and creating a mindset to achieve them based on what is best for your long-term health.
Based on the Creation Health model, Faulk offers 4 tips to transform your resolutions into ones that you won’t want to break and can truly achieve.
Resolution defined is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Faulk’s single biggest predictor of a person’s success with a New Year’s resolution is their readiness for change. He says, “If you are setting health goals, you must be open to change and accept responsibility for making all of the adjustments in your life required to achieve them.”
Resolutions take a different shape once you make the commitment to yourself and start thinking about long-term health. Resolutions transition from just “lose weight” to “maintain a healthy weight for life and vitality.” They shift from “go to the gym every day” to things like “have more energy and spirit to do the things I love.” Goals like this are more about lifestyle than a resolution that comes – and goes – once a year. The key is to look broadly and work back to define how your resolutions all point to the same end goal: better health.
Faulk adds, “Resolution is change; the most important thing not to break is what will help you make the changes that you to be healthier long-term.”
If you are focusing your goals on the heavy hitters like running for 60 minutes on the treadmill, or going to the gym once a day, you’re getting it wrong. “Activity is lifestyle decision, not one block of time during your day,” says Faulk.
He recommends making the commitment to incorporate as many small bouts of activity in your day as possible. Maybe it’s setting an alarm on your phone every hour to get up and stretch during your work day, or parking in the farthest parking spot to walk a little more; whatever you can do to increase activity can make a big impact on your long-term health. In addition, find ways to incorporate activities that you enjoy.
Faulk emphasizes, “When I help people with their health goals, I ask them what they love to do - Align your resolutions with what you love and you won’t want to break them.”
If your goals are only focused on a diet plan to lose weight, or you are piecing together a diet plan that you is healthy, the thing you could be losing is adequate nutrition. While there are basic nutrients that everyone needs, the specific amounts and combinations of foods are unique to each person. Any one commercial diet is hard - pressed to meet your nutritional needs unless it is specifically designed for you by a professional. At the cornerstone of your goal to lead a healthier life is knowing your body’s nutritional needs.
“I recommend that most people meet with a trained nutritionist at least once if not more,” says Faulk. “Your body’s nutritional needs can change based on your age, activity level, medical needs, metabolism, preferences, lifestyle, etc.” “A nutritionist can help you to develop a plan that helps your body reach optimal nutrition based on these factors at a given point in time.” This information is the key to creating a thriving mind and body that you just can’t break.
If your mindset is negative about change, and all that comes with it, your resolutions will not be as successful. However, according to Faulk, “When you positively summit your resolution - making that choice to change for lifelong health – you are ultimately improving your outlook.” A positive willingness to change, increased activity and optimal nutrition will all lead to a more fulfilling and happier life.
In conclusion, Faulk tell us, “The right resolutions can do much more than help you achieve your health goals; they can improve your outlook about yourself and on life in general.” “A positive outlook goes a long way to improve every facet of your life.”
What’s your present outlook? How do you feel about your current New Year’s resolutions? If you want to make ones that you won’t want to break, ring in the new year – and every day - with an acceptance of change and your eye on creating a healthful future.