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Many of us start each New Year by making lofty New Year’s resolutions, with good intentions, but often times find that after a short period of time, these resolutions were too difficult to accomplish. This is especially true when you are trying to make changes to improve your health or the health of your family.
There are so many different factors that come into play in a family… different ages, stages, schedules, eating habits, preferences, activities, school, work… how could you possibly make a resolution to improve the health of the entire family? With obesity rates soaring in both the pediatric and adult populations (www.cdc.gov) and the associated medical complications, deciding to make some refreshing changes to your family’s lifestyle in the New Year would be the best way to define the words refresh, renew and revitalize!
In order to achieve your goals for better health this New Year:
1. Start with small achievable goals. Start slow… change is a process, not an event. For example, if your goal is to increase your vegetable consumption because you are eating very small quantities, make your resolution to “increase vegetable consumption by one serving per day” instead of “eating 5 servings of vegetables per day”.
2. Be realistic. Know what you are and are not willing to change. If you are not a night-owl, then making a resolution to go to the gym or for a walk after dinner is not an attainable goal! Do not set your self up for failure (remember the first principle, to start with small achievable goals).
3. Make a plan. Figure out how what steps are needed to achieve your goals and how you can begin. Write your plan down immediately. Make the plan so that it includes the whole year, not just New Year’s (nothing major is going to get accomplished in one day (or even one week or one month, for that matter)!
Stay flexible… change is a process. Roll with it and you will succeed. Jump right back on if you have a bad day and bask in your successes when you have a great day.
***If you are looking for a way to improve your family’s mind, body and spirit in 2009, please visit http://www.nicolemeadow.com/calendar/embody.html and learn about the embody program: an education/therapy group for children ages 8-14 and their families whose goal is to help foster self esteem, healthy body image, nutritious food choices, physical activity and much more. Our next group begins 1/15/09 (boys) and 1/22/09 (girls)… reserve your spot now!***