Showing posts with label new years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new years. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Year’s Resolutions and Goal Setting

By Lisa Sussman, Psy.D.
Health Psychologist
Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine

Happy 2017! As the start of a new year naturally turns our attention towards taking stock and setting a new year’s resolution, you have probably started to think about what you’d like to accomplish or change over the course of this year. “I want to be healthier” or “I want to be happier” are all examples of the first step of resolutions, yet they lack a focus and a structure, which makes them tougher to accomplish. Goal setting is a great tool to guide you as you hone in on the specifics of your resolution and how to get there.

Before you set your goals though, you want to think about the level of commitment you can make towards achieving this resolution. What are your priorities, and how much time do you realistically have to devote to this endeavor? Current work, family, finances, other interests, and health status all need to be considered, as, from year-to-year, goals change due to these factors. The last thing you want to happen is setting the bar too high and feeling disappointed or giving up. You want to set goals that are challenging and help you rise to the next level, but that aren’t too lofty that you are setting yourself up for failure.

Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For instance, the New Year’s resolution, “I’m going to live a healthier lifestyle” is a good start; however, the lack of specificity may hinder your focus and ability to accomplish this. One way to transform the resolution into a SMART goal is: I’m going to meditate 10 minutes a day and eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (specific). I will keep a daily log to measure my progress (measurable). I’ve never meditated before so I’ll start by downloading a meditation app, learn the guidelines on how to meditate successfully, and listen to the guided meditations provided. I will pick out and buy one new fruit and one new vegetable to try each week (achievable). I will meditate in the morning before I get out of bed, and I will talk to my family about incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our meals (realistic). I will do this and log my progress for the next six weeks and then assess where I’m at, and make new short-term goals (time-bound). When you turn your resolution into a SMART goal, you will know exactly when you accomplish it, giving you that boost of encouragement to move to work towards the next step as well as the chance to savor the moment and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

So, for 2017, what is an exciting yet realistic goal for you to reach toward? It would be helpful to first brainstorm and write down your ideas, then choose a couple to start with, and rewrite them into a SMART goals format. You can revise them anytime you’d like. Posting your goals in a place you will view them frequently, such as taping them to your computer, the fridge or the steering wheel will help to keep you on task and motivate you.

May you accomplish your resolutions and learn along the way, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Committing to Clean Eating

By Nicole Cerillo, RD, LDN
Integrative Medicine Nutritionist

With the new year quickly approaching, a common goal and resolution for many people is to commit to starting a new diet program or exercise routine. In fact, studies show that the #1 New Year’s resolution in America is to lose weight. While these resolutions are great ways to improve your heath, it can be very difficult to stick to this daunting commitment.  According to a new University of Scranton study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only a mere 8% of people are actually successful in following through with their resolutions. In fact, most people quit completely by Valentine’s Day -- which means after 6 weeks most people will give up or lose their momentum.

Instead of going for the gold and reaching for the stars next year, I want to encourage you to try something a little different to set yourself up for the win after the holidays! I want YOU to beat the statistics and be one of the 8% that actually follows through.

What if I told you all you have to do is just commit to 21 days of clean eating?

I believe that if you can commit to something and make a change for 21 days, you have developed new habits that will be easier for you to stick to and maintain long term. Maybe you won’t want to continue everything 100% after the 3 weeks, but many of those habits you developed during that time will carry over naturally. In 21 days you can reset your body to work its best using natural and whole foods. You will learn a lot about yourself, your diet habits, and the way your body processes and uses food. You will change the way you think about the quality of your food and you will WANT to make healthier choice for the long-term because it is sustainable. It will become a lifestyle—not just another fad diet that you quit before Valentine’s Day.

Here are 12 benefits you may experience starting a 21 day clean diet and lifestyle:

1. It will introduce you to new foods, flavors, and nutrients you aren’t used to enjoying
2. You will generally feel better, build up your immune system, and won’t get sick as often
3. You may recognize a possible food intolerance or sensitivity and improve symptoms
4. You can boost your metabolism and your energy will increase
5. Your brain and mind will be clear and sharp and you will feel more focused and alert throughout the day
6. Your sleep will improve
7. You can see a decrease in anxiety and depression
8. Your mood will improve and hormones will balance
9. Cholesterol, blood sugar, and lipid profiles may improve
10. You can maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight
11. You can rid your body of toxic buildup that can be a root cause in so many diseases and conditions
12. Your beauty will shine! Your hair and nails will grow strong and your complexion and skin will clear up and glow

Stay tuned for my next blog post in January with more details about how to start a clean eating protocol for you and your family next year.

Interested in this post and committing yourself to clean eating? Don’t do it alone and don’t wait! Grab your best friend, make an appointment, and get the motivation and coaching you need to get ahead and succeed next year! YOU are worth it and your body (and mind) will thank you!

Source for study: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology