“I will lose 50 pounds, live a healthier life, and stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes”- these kinds of impossible New Year’s resolutions are slowly losing popularity. What’s wrong with them? That they are not plans, but rather, vague statements and dreams about an idealised, perfect life, which we will get right on doing tomorrow….Except it will forever stay in tomorrow. What to do if you want to really change your life? Let us help!
New Year’s resolution#1: Losing weight
One of the most frequently sworn oaths in January. If you want to make it for real this time around, here is a good way to do your New Year’s resolutions this time!
Start by setting realistic goals. If you have 50 extra pounds, then it is unrealistic and demotivating of you to expect yourself to lose all of it by May. Instead, focus on losing, say, 3- 5 pounds a month. This is a much shorter time span, and is thus more pressing and you will feel motivated to reach your goal and keep your New Years’s resolution.
Make a plan, but beware: a very detailed plan may make you feel like you have already achieved a bunch, and will have you lying back and resting on your assumed victory. Make a general plan that outlines what you will eat and what you will not, how much exercise you will get, etc. Make a list of food stuffs which you absolutely must avoid, which ones you need to eat less of, and which ones you can still indulge in. After this, just stick to the list: don’t buy the ones that are off limits, and buy your entire week's’ worth of the controlled ones at once. When you run out, don’t get more, even if you ran out ahead of time. It’s hard to lose weight with a full ice box, and what you do not have, you will not eat.
Also, don’t forget to exercise! The best way to make sure you are getting enough of it is to join a group who does a sport you like, be it handball, yoga, pilates, aerobic, or fencing. If there is none, why not organise a group from friends and colleagues, guaranteeing good times?
New Year’s resolution#2: A more active lifestyle
Do you also feel that you have less and less time for your friends, and spend more and more time at home? Although reading, watching a movie, chatting and messing about on the internet are all great ways to spend your time, remember that no man’s an island. Make sure you remember to reach out to your friends, organise weekly or monthly events where you can see them and get together with them, be it a game like bridge or pool, or a board game, perhaps a night down the pub, or a veritable feast, but any activity that you all enjoy is worth pursuing, be it gallery opening or sports bars. It’s usually a good idea to pair some kind of activity to these kinds of events, and if these get togethers end up being fun, you will see it expand and start to include friends of friends, their colleagues, etc., giving you a chance to meet new people!
New Year’s Resolution#3: I will finally quit smoking!
…would be great if you did! This can be seen as a close relative to the “living a healthier lifestyle starting tomorrow” kind of resolution. This is one of the hardest to keep resolutions, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help with it. There are tons of great books and events, places that can help you quit, but the most important factor is the love and support of your immediate surroundings. What you really need to quit is a strong resolution to quit, to really want to stop. If you have that, you will almost certainly be able to quit, but make a plan to make it easier. Try and find positive reasons to quit, instead of just listing the negative effects of smoking. Think of all the diseases you are reducing the risks of, and how much time and money you are saving by quitting and all of the things we can spend our “new” resources on.
It is also important to remember that smoking is a social event as well, so it may be a good idea to find other ways to connect and spend time together then going out for a cig. You can also of course go out with your friends while they smoke, but this should be done only when the chance of relapse has gone.
New Year’s resolution#4: I will take better care of myself
Aside from indirect methods like quitting smoking, losing weight and becoming more active, there are direct ways that people try and influence their health as well. We make promises to go to screenings and check-ups, ask for a complete physical from our physician, and make vows to monitor our blood sugar, blood pressure and overall health more closely. This list would be incomplete without mentioning our teeth: it is absolutely mandatory to go to the dentist at least once a year, if for nothing else, then to remove the tartar and plaque. The point is to make specific plans for the new year, and not settle for vague and obscure, cloudy musings.
write down the appointments as soon as you can, so you don’t forget them, and then book them with your physician, dentist or whoever else needs to be contacted.
Keeping these New Year’s resolution we can help! If you come to us, we will provide you with an itemised and individually priced treatment plan that will help you make plans for the future, right after the first consultation session. If you start getting treatment with us, we will give you free consultations and screenings, and we will send you reminder emails regarding them, so you can be sure you will NOT forget!
And don’t forget, aside from having concrete goals, and the motivation to carry them through, the most vital thing is to keep your initial motivation. If you have this, the success of your new year’s resolution is all but guaranteed!