How’s That New Year’s Resolution Going?

February 4, 2010

Dr Brooke’s Best Tips for Being Successful This Year

New Year’s resolutions are ripe with the best intentions for losing pounds, dropping inches, getting back into those skinny jeans, or being able to see your toes.

I believe that each of you who made a weight loss related goal had every intention of sticking to it. Most of you probably did great for the first two weeks of January….then life takes over. That same busy, hectic, stressful, stretched-to-thin life that got you out of your skinny jeans in the first place.

The good news is, you are only 5 weeks into the New Year and it’s time to remind yourself of that resolution, figure out how to make it happen, and ask yourself why you wanted to accomplish it in the first place.

Do something – anything, right now.

Tackling getting in shape can feel completely overwhelming. There’s the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cardio, the weights, the eating every 3 hours, the supplements, the figuring out how to attend social events without blowing it, and on and on.

Before you freak out, just do one thing – and do it right now. Drink a glass of water, go to the gym this afternoon, get some good rest tonight – anything. Just begin.

This one positive step gets you at least a little closer to your ultimate goal.

You can get a trainer to help plan your workouts, get a nutrition plan developed, buy a new pair of sneakers, sort out childcare – all of that will get worked out and yes, it might take a week or two to make those plans, but don’t delay. Do something now.

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Don’t try to do it all.

If you ended last year completely out of whack and your resolution was to lose weight – don’t try and change it all at once.

Pick 1-3 things to focus on for a month, master those and then keep building. If diet and nutrition are the hardest for you – do that first. Pick 3 habits such as not missing meals, watching alcohol intake or eating more vegetables for the next 4 weeks and figure out how to make those happen. You’ve got 30 days to make it a habit – that’s not so overwhelming.

If you intend to exercise 6 times per week but it is usually 3 or 4, then next month find strategies to make sure you get those 6 times in. There is so much for us to do to lose weight – or be in good health. Most of us try to do it all January first and end up overwhelmed and giving up by Valentine’s Day – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If it takes about 30 days to form a habit, and you do 3 new healthy habits per month, you’ll have 36 new healthy habits by 2011 (not to mention a better body!).

Flubber is contagious….well not the same way the flu is, but still.

If your friends are more interested in cocktails and appetizers than staying on the wagon, be sure you are able to stay on track in the midst of the fried calamari. If it’s hard for you to be around those friends as you get your feet under you, let them know they might see a little less of you for a month or so.

And be wary of the dream stealers. It’s often hard for certain friends to see you taking good care of yourself because it makes them feel guilty that they aren’t able to do it for themselves.  If you are comfortable talking about it with them – by all means do it. See if there’s opportunity for you both to support each other. If not, don’t let someone else’s “stuff” keep you from having what you want.

Find at least one healthy-minded friend to go out to dinner with or to do something physical – like try a new exercise class, take a walk or set some goals over a cup of tea and figure out how to support each other in getting there.

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Give yourself an incentive…but not a cookie.

Most of us use food as a reward – a late afternoon treat for surviving a grueling meeting or a glass of wine at the end of a long day. On occasion, that’s fine…but if you do it everyday, it can definitely thwart your weight loss efforts.

Taking rewards completely out of the picture isn’t the answer – finding some other rewards is.

Ladies, get a manicure or pedicure – not as maintenance but as a reward. And don’t fly in and out in flurry – enjoy it, relax, maybe even get a shoulder massage. Schedule a facial. Or enjoy your slimmer face by getting some new makeup (or better yet get a makeover at your favorite cosmetic counter).

Too girly for ya? Get fabulous seats for your favorite sporting event or to a play you’ve wanted to see. The point is that you need to reward yourself and if your typical treats are hindering your progress, it’s worth the time to find some other rewards and make the time to indulge them.

Answer the question – WHY?

Why do you want to lose weight or get healthy? The answer needs to be important to you – it needs to create a strong emotional reaction when you think of it. The reason needs to be worth the hard work.

Did you decide to get in shape because your doctor said your cholesterol was too high? Did you see a picture of yourself that made your stomach turn? Did you try on your favorite pants to find they barely zip? Was it catching a glance of your reflection in a full length mirror and saying “yikes”?

There will be days when getting to the gym and eating will feel great – but there will be days when doing even one of those things seems impossible.  The answer to WHY will get you through those tough days. Don’t take this question lightly, sit down and give it some thought.

Again, getting healthy and losing weight has to mean something to you, not only because it gets you through the tough times but also it makes the end result much more satisfying.

Some of the best reasons I’ve heard are:

  • I want to feel proud of my body everyday. I never want to feel ugly or fat or anything nasty when I look in the mirror.
  • I want to be able to shop at my favorite stores, buy my favorite brands and know they look great on me.
  • I want to be healthy and able to enjoy my children and grand children.
  • I want to have a healthy, strong body to enjoy my life – really enjoy all that I’ve worked so hard for.
  • I want to show myself I can do it.
  • I want to know I did my best.

The only right answer is the one that matters to you – the one that helps you do the work that will get you to your goal. Each day, do at least one thing that takes you closer to your goal.

You won’t be perfect everyday, and you don’t need to be. You just need to be BETTER today than yesterday and before you know it you’ll be where you want to be.

Need help? Email me at

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