Why do so many resolutions fail? They fail because they’re negative.
When we resolve to “not do this” or “no more of that” we are making negative resolutions. We are saying what we don’t want, but that doesn’t do us much good. We need to make resolutions that give us what we do want.
“No more snacking between meals,” is not a good resolution.
A good resolution would be to identify an alternate activity to replace snacking between meals and to resolve to do that. I don’t think snacking between meals is a bad thing and for many, it actually supports weight loss.
If I were determined however, to stop snacking, I might make my resolution as follows:
Now, I’ve declared a resolution that will stop me from eating between meals and better, it gives me a good activity to replace the snacking.
Cellphones while eating distracts us from the important task of eating. Eating deserves our full attention, especially if we need to reduce how much we eat. “No cellphones at the table,” is another example of a negative resolution. It needs to be restated in the positive. Instead of saying, “no cellphones at the table,” positively stated would be, “I will turn off my cellphone and put it in my purse when I eat.”
“I will lose weight” is a badly stated resolution. It’s not negative, but it’s too vague. It doesn’t state what actions will be taken to lose weight.
If weight loss is what you want, make your resolutions your weight loss actions.
1. Keep a food diary and track my food at least 3 days a week. Keep your resolutions reasonable. Resolving to track 7 days a week is possible but not likely. 3 days is likely. The benefit comes from hitting your target, not being perfect. It is okay to exceed your goal for tracking but set the bar low enough to ensure you can consistently reach it.
2. Get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Breaking up your activity into smaller segments spread throughout the day is just as good as 30 consecutive minutes. It doesn’t matter how you get the 30 minutes as long as you get them.
3. Slow down my eating by sipping water and putting down my fork in between bites. Give yourself time to feel full thereby eating less without feeling hungry or unsatisfied.
4. Get 7 hours of quality sleep most nights. This is a “do your best” kind of resolution. If you get too specific you may get discouraged.
5. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Keep fruit and/or vegetables handy for snacks. Include a serving of fruit and/or vegetables with every meal.
6. Limit servings of sweets to 3 times a week. Treat yourself! Pick your favorite treat, eat a small serving and enjoy every bite!
Those 7 resolutions are reasonable and can support weight loss better than the simple “I resolve to lose weight.”
There is one more resolution that will really make the difference in successful weight loss. Add #8 to your list of resolutions.