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Feeling Guilty About Those Resolutions?

Jan 27, 2008
It's been 17 days since we made our New Year's resolutions. How's it going for you? Not so good? You're not alone. We start with good intentions but it doesn't take much to derail our plan. We're going to take a look at two reasons why our resolutions have failed and then we'll come up with a better plan, one that will get us back on track and leave us feeling better about ourselves.

Unrealistic Resolution

When we watch all the ads on TV for diet pills and weight loss programs there's an expectation that, if we give it a try, we can lose 25 pounds in short order, maybe even in two weeks. That is not necessarily true. The marketing experts who write those ads are good at what they do, so good, that we expect those results to be normal. Then, when we give it a try and we don't drop weight that fast, it leaves us giving up in frustration.

In this case, the goal to lose 25 pounds is a good one but we weren't being reasonable in the amount of time it would take. The adjustment needs to be in our expectation.

Resolution Too Complicated

Joining the health club and committing to Pilates three times a week is a great goal. But when you were scheduling those classes, did you have to put your schedule through contortions to get it to fit? Therein may lay the problem. If you had mental dialogue that went something like this: "If I leave work a little early on Tuesdays and my husband picks up the boys from basketball practice on Thursdays, I can do this!" that should have been a little red flag telling you that this would not dovetail very well into your lifestyle. No wonder you've only been to class twice this month. Admirable goal, too complicated to carry out.

So your plans haven't worked out as you've hoped. Don't beat yourself up and don't feel guilty about it. Any experience that causes us to learn something is not failure. You learned that packing too much into your week doesn't work, which is a valuable lesson. Keep on applying that and you can reduce the amount of stress in your life.

Now it's time to re-group. We aren't giving up on our goals and we've learned what doesn't work. How can we have reasonable expectation and reduce the impact on our lifestyle? Creating a healthier lifestyle comes down to our daily choices. How can we make different choices in our daily routine to promote good health?

Start by looking at what you already do everyday to see where you can improve your health habits. Do you go out for lunch with you co-workers or hit the drive-thru for your meal? If your goal is weight loss, regularly eating fast food will make the achievement of that goal pretty difficult. Have you considered packing your lunch maybe just once or twice a week? Fast food is full of fats, calories, and sodium. The simple decision to pack your lunch a few times a week can have a significant impact on your health long term.

How about the goal of exercise? Is there a simple way to increase our activity without playing havoc on our schedule? You might want to take a look at how you are using your lunch hour. There was a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on the effects of moderate exercise. Researchers studied 252,925 men and women between the ages of 50 and 71. Those that did a moderate amount of exercise (at least 30 minutes most days of the week) had a 27% decreased risk of death. A brisk 30 minute walk each day can have a powerful impact. What are you doing during you lunch hour?

The most important element in improving our health is consistency. It would be far better to do a 30 minute walk a few times every week than to do Pilates a few times a month. Look at how you are spending your day. There are always ways to make healthier decisions. And give up on those quick-fixes. Truly being healthy is not something a quick-fix will achieve but the accumulation of healthy daily decisions will.
About the Author
Lynn Smith is a health and wellness coach with Health Coach Team. Get your free report "10 Energy Zappers and How to Eliminate Them" at http://www.healthcoachteam.com
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