By Laura Landrey, MS, RD, CD, Wellness Dietitian
We’ve all done it. The excitement of a new year brings energy and enthusiasm to start new habits and routines. “This will be the year,” we say as we charge full-speed at our goals. So why is it that by February we usually find ourselves feeling defeated and ready to throw in the towel? Because changing our habits is hard work!
We often want to change all our health habits overnight. We set a date and use lots of absolutes; “I’m never going to eat this again,” or “I’m never going to miss a workout.” We set such high goals for ourselves that our lives inevitably get in the way and we slip up over time. But it’s okay—don’t surrender your resolutions just because of a mistake; recharge them instead with four simple steps to handle a SLIP in your progress.
S – Stop
Don’t expect perfection when you’re learning something new. Stop and reflect on what you’ve done well and not so well. Recognize any undesirable choices and press pause.
L – Look
Search for the root of the problem and realize you have the power to control it. While we might not have control over weather, illness, injuries or life emergencies, we certainly have control over how we react to them and what we do on “normal” days.
I – Investigate
Investigate underlying issues and determine what contributed to the slip in progress. For example, are you skipping lunches to avoid eating out, only to over-indulge later because you’re hungry? Are you failing to pack lunches because you didn’t set time aside to meal plan and grocery shop for the week? Did you not make time because you are exhausted from an overbooked calendar?
P – Plan
You will inevitably face the same challenge again. Use what you have learned to formulate a plan of action so you are prepared to handle the situation next time. Keep it simple and start small. You don’t have to change everything overnight and it’s only natural that a “slip” will happen now and then. Instead of resigning yourself to defeat, just take a moment to reflect, learn and refocus your goals.
It is never too late to recharge your resolutions and improve your health. For one-on-one nutritional counseling or to learn about how our Body Knowledge Program and the BOD POD can help you reach your health goals, please contact our the registered dietitians at Riverview Health by calling 317.565.0254.