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by LC Arisman

Halfway through 2017 already?! How’s the year going for you? If your New Year’s Resolution is a distant memory, you are not alone. Here are some tips on making a lifestyle change.

  1. Have SMART goals: That is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound. Take a resolution like “I will exercise more” and make it SMART, “I will walk two miles three days a week,” or if that isn’t a realistic start, “I will walk for 30 minutes three days a week.”
  2. Break it down: Whether it’s a home improvement project or a self-improvement project, trying to tackle it all in one fell swoop is a recipe for disaster and overwhelm. Split your change into bite-sized steps. What is the first thing you need to do? Can you break that down into a smaller change?
  3. Outsource the labor: Is there a shortcut to make it more feasible for this week? For example, buy grilled chicken, pre-chopped vegetables, and pre-washed salad greens for quick salad assembly at home. It may seem silly to pay extra for shredded carrots when you can shred them yourself, but if it makes a healthy choice a little easier, it is money well spent.
  4. Find the time ahead of time: Look at your schedule and find an opportunity to work on yourself. If this is your week to host a dinner party, go to the dentist, and take the dogs to the vet, what can you do for yourself? Maybe there’s not time for a massage, but surely you can sit down in a pretty spot for a cup of tea. Maybe you don’t have space for a full workout, but would a power walk work? No step is too small when it comes to self-care.
  5. Have a Plan B:  What will you do if you can’t make it to class this week? What if you run out of time to meal prep? Having a backup plan will help keep you on track, maintaining your motivational momentum and carrying you through another week. When I can’t make oatmeal, I can rely on microwave eggs or peanut butter toast. If I can’t fit in a workout, I can sneak in a couple squats. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, so if plan A doesn’t work, stay cool, we’ve got options.

The goal here is to strive for progress, not perfection. We often fall prey to the all-or-nothing mentality, but it is always better to do something, even if that something is small. Would you like help hammering out the details of your change? Schedule a Health Navigation and together we will find the next step you can take.