Want to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions? Remember These 5 Simple Mantras
In order to reach our goals and maintain those results, we need motivation. For some us, we look to books filled with daily affirmations. For others, it's logging onto social media and seeing what your favorite lifestyle guru is sharing with you for the day.
When trying to manage our health and wellness, it is easy for outside factors to get in our way. Even the slightest thing or upset can derail us from a week, a month, or even a year of consistent progress and success.
As a nutritionist and wellness coach, I know that besides consistency, motivation is critical to success. My favorite technique to cultivate lasting motivation is based around the concept of "one" -- like in my book, "The One-One-One Diet." Sometimes, you just need one little thing to remind you to stay on track! A key part of this strategy is one-minute motivators: Simple mantras and ideas that resonate with you no matter where you are on your health and wellness journey. Keep them in mind, write them down. Turn your narrative around by changing your mind-set.
It is said that change comes from within. Below I share with you 5 one-minute motivators that can help you manage or navigate a challenging situation or simply stick to your New Year's resolutions.
Structure is different from restriction.
Why it works: Deprivation is depressing. We are so used to restricting ourselves when dieting whether it is from a food group or a macronutrient or just calories in general. When you have structure and a strategy in place, you can manage your food choices and make them work for you. Many diets tout "You have to eat this, not that." Rules, rules, rules. I don't know about you, but I'm a nutritionist and I'm sick of rules -- especially the ones that tell me I can't have what I like to eat. Personally, I enjoy a good dessert now and then. I prefer white pasta to whole-wheat pasta. Sometimes, I want steak for dinner. Why would I stick to a diet that didn't allow me to eat the foods I like, and required I eat foods I don't like -- especially when the rules aren't even effective?! If all that restriction worked, would we have such high rates of obesity in this country? I don't think so. That's why my 1:1:1 formula is a better approach.
Think progress, not perfection.
Why it works: "Perfect" is not easy to achieve -- because it doesn't exist! Progress is about moving forward. We all have behaviors that we know may not be conducive to weight loss, like that glass of wine after dinner or the doughnuts in the break room that we can't seem to resist. But stop beating yourself up about it! Focus on your accomplishments, not your hiccups, and your outlook will dramatically improve.
Respond, don't react.
Why it works: Even the most balanced person you know still has stress in her life. It's all about how you respond to it. Responding means deciding what you want to do, like planning your indulgences. Reacting is instantaneous, so you might do something you'll regret, like overeating without thinking about how you'll feel afterward. Reacting may seem like the quickest way to share your feelings -- especially if you are feeling picked on, stressed, or frustrated. Responding comes with thought. Think about what will help you manage your feelings. As one of my clients says, "Pick up the phone, not the peanut butter."
It doesn't matter how slow you go.
Why it works: When people are looking for change, they often seek the fastest and easiest methods. Often they will lose that weight, maintain it for a few days, then regain it quickly. Slow and steady is more effective, and results in sustainable weight loss. Don't compare yourself to others and find out what works for you.
Your theoretical life can become your real life!
Why it works: In my work with clients over the last 12+ years, when we discuss a lifestyle change that they know will positively impact their wellness goals, they often say, "In theory, that could work." I say, make your theoretical life your real life. If you are aware of a change that you can make, work toward it. It is possible! Contemplation can lead to preparation, which will lead to action.
All one-minute motivators have been excerpted from "The One-One-One Diet."