FOCUS ON THE EVOLUTION!
Category: Kim's Corner
The New Year is slipping away; do you find your resolutions doing the same? Well, I’m ready to ditch the resolutions and focus on the evolution of leading a healthy, happy, and productive life – what about you?
Losing weight and increasing physical activity are two common New Year’s resolutions. People want to lose weight and exercise, they just typically run out of gas trying to do so within two months. In other words, right about now on the calendar.
To “resolve to lose weight” is great, don’t get me wrong, but to “resolve to address those things in your life that prevent you from being healthy, happy and productive…?” That’s evolutionary!
Here are a few tips to get your evolution started:
Get a grip on managing your time. Come to terms with the fact there are only 24 hours in a day. You need to sleep at least seven of those hours and most of us work an eight-hour day and commute for another hour or so. With the eight or so hours that remain, make a list of the things that must get done, and the things that you want to do.
Prioritize the list. Next, make a list of the things you currently do but you don’t want to do and/or don’t need to do. Determine what you are willing to give up on this list and let it go! Often these things make us irritable, add stress, and really don’t benefit any of the parties involved. Put simply, understand that sometimes it’s ok to say no!
Put yourself first. Stop thinking you don’t matter or that your kids’ needs come before yours. You are doing your family—not to mention yourself—a huge disservice by not taking care of yourself. In fact, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else – it’s really that simple.
Honor your schedule. Once you have established a schedule that includes sleep, work, necessary responsibilities and duties, and the things that you want to do, draw it up on a calendar and follow it. Resist the urge to make big compromises. You will have a few bumps in the road now and then, and that’s expected. However don’t commit to additional things unless you are willing to give up something on your calendar!
Rid yourself of culinary temptations. Clean out your refrigerators and your cupboards! Come on, if you really want to lose weight, do you think you can have Oreos in the cabinet? Get over it – no one in your family needs to eat that junk! Make the occasional dessert home-baked or bakery-bought fresh. Make sure it’s worth it and take the time to enjoy it!
Ditch the Diet. Here’s the secret to dieting: diets don’t work. Worse, they stress us out– and it’s not all in our head! A recent research study published in the Journal of Neuroscience put mice on a high-fat diet to fatten them up and then divided them into two groups. The first group was put on a diet, cutting about 25% of their caloric intake to produce a 10% weight loss. The second group resumed a regular diet. After 3 weeks researchers measured the amount of stress hormones present in the blood and found higher levels in the dieting mice. These mice also exhibited more symptoms of depression than their counterparts, as well as marked changes in gene activity related to eating and stress management. In fact, these changes persisted as long as two months after the mice stopped dieting, which researchers noted, is equivalent to years in the life of a human. The study concluded that dieting not only increases stress, making dieting more difficult but it can have an affect on how the brain responds to future stress and emotional drives for food. So, don’t think diets, think lifestyle changes!
Take small steps. If your goals are too large, you may get caught up in them and feel disappointed when you do not see immediate results. A long walk is many small steps. Take one. Then focus on the next one.
Be specific. Small behavior change plans are easier to stick to than vague resolutions. Rather than saying, “I will exercise more,” say, “I will go for a walk every Tuesday at lunch time and I will go to the gym on Thursday and Saturday.” (Remember, if it’s on your schedule, it’s no longer negotiable. You’ve allowed time for this in your schedule and it’s a priority.) Instead of saying, “I will lose weight this year,” try saying, “I will cook a healthy meal one night per week, and replace all soda with water during the week.” Those are specific and attainable!
Enjoy the ride! If you feel like you are being pulled in 3,000 different directions and you are stressed to the max, you probably are—and that’s not fun. You are the only one who can change it. Do you want to continue to lead the life you are leading? You have complete control of the outcome; remember there are only so many hours in a day and you will devote some of the time to improving yourself! Celebrate the little steps (“I went to the gym today,” or “I took a walk during my lunch break”) and don’t sweat the small stuff, especially the stuff you can’t control (That traffic jam on the way to work? Five extra minutes to listen to a good song or think peaceful thoughts….).
Believe in yourself and your ability to make your life yours.