How to Make a Resolution and Keep it!

How many New Year resolutions have you made and kept? There is a lot of contempt for resolutions because not achieving one leads to feelings of failure. Of the 45% of Americans who usually make New Years Resolutions, only 8% achieve them (Journal of Clinical Psychology). This year, are you brave enough to set a realistic goal and then harness your mental and emotional power to achieve it? Cognitive Therapy can help people lose weight, or change unhealthy habits by changing how they think. This article syntheses two articles published by National Public Radio to give you the skills and information to make your diet goals a reality.  

Step #1: Set realistic, informed goals and make them explicit.

Scale back on your dreams if you think you can do a full triathlon by December but you can’t run a mile. Make it your goal to be able to run a 5K and then keep running throughout the year. Check out this training guide, to get an idea of how quickly you can reach your running goals. Take a look at your calendar to see how many times you can go to the gym each week and be sure to write down when you plan on working out. The first step to going to the gym regularly is by making your health a priority and slotting time to go to the gym.  Take a look at this article to see how to make an exercise schedule that will cater to your goals.  Finally, you are 10 times more likely to achieve your goals if you make your resolution explicit (Journal of Clinical Psychology).

Want to lose 50 pounds by April? Nearly every nutritionist would say that’s dangerous, and nearly every cognitive therapist would advise you to set physically and emotionally healthy goals. Nutritionist Rovenia Brock advises losing 1-2 pounds a week. That’s 16-32 pounds shed by April. Wouldn’t that still be an incredible achievement? Maintaining consistent and daily baby-steps to achieve sustained weight loss is critical. Think realistically and pragmatically.

Step #2: Sustain your willpower

According to the article, ‘Thinking Thin: A Cognitive-Therapy Approach,’ “many people find that when they stick with a diet — any diet — it works. But studies show that most of us can't make ourselves stick to a diet long-term.” The trick for reaching our goals then is to maintain the willpower.  Dr. Aaron Beck founded cognitive therapy in the 1960’s. His revolutionary approach changed the way individuals think and approach their problems, instead of investigating emotional problems derived from childhood. Since then, there has been increasing interest in ways to help people transform their thinking about health, food and eating. According to Judith Beck, Dr. Beck’s daughter, we need to “learn some specific skills", like planning meals and tolerating hunger pangs. Just as important is accepting and overcoming the difficulties of dieting, is our thoughts about ourselves and our goals. “For dieters, this means catching themselves whenever they have a sabotaging thought, such as, "oh, I'll never be thin, so why not just tear into this bag of chips?" When these sorts of thoughts take hold, dieters cave, and then convince themselves they have no willpower at all — which, Beck says, usually isn't true. "Dieters do have willpower," she says. "Most dieters have lost weight before. They've just gained it all back, so their willpower is a little inconsistent."
There are lots of motivators that can be of assistance to help you foster positive thinking. Find support from a group, friends, or family. Have a “no choice” mantra about going to the gym and eating healthy foods. You can make a dream board and hold yourself accountable through meal planning, a food and exercise journal, or weigh-ins with your doctor. Some techniques work for some, but not others. Investigate motivation techniques and then personalize them to make them work for you.
Sometimes a deal breaker for New Year Resolutions is not having the right food available. For those who exercise regularly, eating protein post workout is important for muscle regeneration. For those striving to lose weight on a busy schedule, having satisfying and accesible snacks that cut cravings and keeps them feeling full for hours is essential. Kay’s satisfies both of these. Each of our 1.2 oz servings of Apple Cinnamon Cereal gives you 12g of protein, 4g of fiber, and only 3g of sugar. It will not cause an imbalance of your blood sugar, is gluten free and low in carbohydrates. Thought you couldn't have cereal each morning and still lose weight? With Kay’s Naturals you can! Visit our website to see what we can offer to help you realize your goals.

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