July 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Resolutions vs. Commitments? (Part 2)

By Betsy Mendel

How many times have you made well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions on Jan 1 only to break them weeks later. Statistically 92 percent of people break their resolutions. Only 1 out of 12 people are successful. Not very good odds.

Get off the resolution roller coaster. Instead of resolutions let’s talk about commitments.

Continued from Dec. 30

 

Change your environment. If you want to lose weight and get healthier stock your pantry with healthy wholesome foods.

Next step, walk over to your refrigerator. Bring a trash can close to where you are working. Let’s take out each item one by one and put them into three groups. The first group is foods you know are healthy. The second group are those items you’re not really sure about and the third group you know is unhealthy. The first group contains fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low fat milk or soy or almond milk, water, yogurt, eggs and everything else you truly know is a healthy food. Healthy foods are typically raw or whole foods.

The second group are those items you were questionable about. Now look at each item. Is it something from the first group we just talked about. If so, move it into the first group. If not, it goes into the third group.

Now your third group. Are there items that could be donated to a needy person or group of people? If yes, put it in a separate bag and deliver it to those that need it most. The rest goes (as hard as it is) straight to the trash.

Next, repeat this process in your pantry.

Small changes add up. Create achievable goals.

Let’s continue with the original goal of losing 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day. Remember we are focusing on changes to our behavior not the outcome of losing that 10 pounds. I promise if you make the changes to the behavior you will lose that 10 pounds. There are many small steps we can take. Park your car so you have to walk a little farther to where you are going rather than wasting time hunting for “the perfect spot.” Take the stairs once you’re inside instead of the elevator. Think of each step as a calorie burned. Ditch the diet drinks and drink water instead. There have been so many studies and reports that show that diet drinks only make us hungrier negating the effects rather than helping. Create an exercise plan you can commit to four days a week. Working with a local personal trainer keeps you motivated and on track. But, many people are able to do this on their own. The choice is yours as long as you not only commit to exercise but actually follow through with it.

When you slip, get back on track quickly. Avoid black and white thinking.

It’s so easy to think of things as “black” or “white”, all or nothing. I myself fall into this thinking much too easily. I know this too well. I feel either I’m eating an incredibly healthy diet or I’m just eating what I want, when I want it. The truth is there is a middle ground and sometimes when I’m in that middle ground I don’t even see it. Ask the people around you for a reality check from time to time. You may be surprised at what you hear.

We are all human, there are times we make choices that we know are not in our bodies best interest. We grab that super sugary dessert or skip a few days of our workout routine. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive ourselves and move back into our best behaviors. Remember, the change in behavior will bring about the outcome (losing that 10 pounds). So look in the mirror, know it’s a new day and yes indeed, you can get back on track and commit to doing exactly that. You don’t need to over compensate to try to undo yesterday as this only makes getting back on track harder. Just get back into your healthy routine. Look at that goal you put up when we first started. Look in the mirror and smile. Appreciate all the hard work you have already done! Don’t focus on the one day you got off track. Back to your small changes, back to your positive behaviors and right back to achieving that outcome!

Schedule your new habits into your life. Write it down and stick to it.

To really ensure our changes to our behavior continue; that our small steps make a difference, we have to make sure we follow through. Remember, we are talking about commitments. Commitments to ourselves. Taking something from a good idea to an actual plan that we promise ourselves we will do the work to get there. Commitments are not meant to be taken lightly. They are how we can truly judge ourselves. Are we strong enough to make a commitment and follow through? Of course we are, if we make and use the realistic plan we’ve outlined and remember that each of these behavioral changes is to our own best interest. The outcome almost seems silly at this point as we know we are going to achieve it. How could we not? We’ve done all the right things and we are committed!

It is critical to make these changes we must change our routine, our schedule. It’s not automatic that we will change this schedule. We have to remember we are changing behaviors that we have had possibly for decades.

Take your calendar, whether you use an app, your computer or a paper calendar write your schedule down for each day. Write the behaviors you are going to do that day. Set alarms if that helps. Wake up earlier, make a healthy smoothie before work, bring a bag of carrots and take a mile walk during lunch rather than sitting at your desk and eating. If you’re going out to dinner write a note to remember to order a light and healthy dinner and skip the wine. Do this every day. Remember thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character. With positive thinking in this entire process your character becomes your destiny. And your destiny is plain and simple right now – lose those 10 pounds. Somehow it was one of the easiest things you ever did. In fact, you lost those pounds by not focusing on losing weight at all. You lost those pounds by just making positive changes to your behavior through small and achievable steps. Now go out and buy that new outfit you know looks amazing on you and have a great Valentine’s Day.

So now we have achieved a goal and we know we can do it.

Take this positive and amazing result and use these same steps to achieve all of the most important goals you laid out at the very beginning of this process. Look at them one at a time achieve them one at a time. Step by step, day by day you are living your commitments and seeing the strength of your true character.

This year care about yourself and commit to being the best you that you can be. The bottom line is there’s no secret sauce, no quick fix. Commitment to good habits is the magic bullet!

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