Re-Framing Your Resolutions
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: EAT HEALTHIER
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: EAT 1 LB OF VEGGIES A DAY
Why? In order to achieve a tangible, external goal (such as losing weight), you need to shift the focus into the behaviors you want to develop to achieve that. For instance, eating 1 lb veggies a day is a behavior you can implement to help you reach your final destination.
My good friend Dr. Sara Gottfried says that, “The only variable associated with less food addiction is vegetable consumption; vegetables also provide the fiber to reset ghrelin….Ideally, consume one to two pounds of vegetables per day.”
If 1 lb of veggies seems out-of-reach right now, try packing your plate with color. When you’re eating vegetables and fruits that are packed with color, you’re filling your body up with disease-fighting plant compounds.
If you’re looking for a fun way to amp up your veggie intake, turn your eating habits into a little game, and designate each day of the week to a color. Mondays are red, Tuesdays are yellow, Wednesdays are green, and so on. So on Monday, pack a sliced red pepper or grapefruit in your bag to snack on throughout the day.
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: GO TO THE GYM MORE
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: LOWER YOUR RESTING HEART RATE
Why? An internal goal relates to how your body functions. It could be lowering your resting heart rate, which would indicate a stronger heart. When the heart becomes stronger, it pumps more blood per beat, so it doesn’t have to beat as often to do its job, resulting in a lower resting heart rate.
Instead of trying to ramp up your workout and go to the gym more to achieve this goal, think about how you can spend less time in the gym but pack in the most benefits. Seriously! The truth of the matter is research indicates that shorter, more intense workouts (also known as HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training) might be better for heart health. The heart is a strong muscle and is constantly working, so, naturally, it needs recovery periods. For most non-athletes, endurance exercise for long periods could prompt your heart to work harder than it does during short-yet-intense exercise. The intermittent activity seems to be a better fit for how the heart naturally functions.
If your resting heart rate is good-to-go, then other internal goals you could focus on would be to improve sleep, lower stress levels, manage cholesterol or balance blood sugar levels.
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: LOSE 10 POUNDS
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: STOP DRINKING SODA
As you set goals, keep in mind that small steps lead to big changes. Research studies over the last five years provide strong evidence that it’s better to think in smaller increments: losing five pounds instead of 30 or cutting one sugary drink per day instead of immediately changing 100% of your diet. The small steps lead to easier victories, which builds mental and physical strength to make additional positive changes.
A recent University of Michigan/University of Southern California study showed that by staying more closely to the present with focus on smaller goals, subjects were more likely to accomplish their bigger goals. So, even if you’d ultimately like to lose 30 pounds, you’re more likely to get there by focusing on what can be easily accomplished in the present – like drinking water instead of a soda.
In life and in weight loss, it’s easy to get hung up on the details — looking at life in terms of calories consumed, ounces gained, minutes spent on your workout, and how many months it will take to get to your goal. Rather than juggling all those details, keep yourself in the present moment and focus on what you can do right now. Rather than freak out over how far you are from your bigger goal, take a moment to reflect on the small steps that are getting you closer. You’ve made some progress, right? Be encouraged.