Although January is the most popular time of year for people to make resolutions to improve their lives, any time is a good time to make a positive change. More important than when the resolution is made is the resolution itself.
Whether it’s quitting smoking, increasing exercise or alleviating stress, one key to success is setting a realistic goal. Too often, people set goals that are too ambitious, and the result is disappointment and despair.
This year, rather than identifying one huge goal which may seem too daunting, try setting mini-resolutions:
* Strive for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Rapid weight loss is unhealthy, and can result in a loss of muscle mass instead of body fat.
* Eat three balanced meals and three nutritious snacks each day. Skipping meals will cause your metabolism to slow, making it harder to lose weight.
* Accumulate your activity throughout the day. If you don’t have ½ hour to spare, three 10-minute bouts of activity are just as effective in lowering blood pressure and body fat.
* Be salad bar savvy. While loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, salad bars are also brimming with mayonnaise-based salads and higher-fat meats, cheeses and dressings. Build your salad wisely.
* Keep in mind that all calories count. While a label may say “fat-free,” the item is most likely not calorie free … and an extra 3,500 calories can result in a weight gain of one pound.
* If you must weigh yourself, do so once a week. Daily fluctuations are inevitable and can be demotivating. Instead, let your clothing be your guide.
Above all, be kind to yourself and do the best you can. If you stumble along the way, pick yourself back up and continue along your journey to a healthier, happier you.