Healthy Resolutions: Reflect, Plan, Focus and Enjoy

The new year is a time to reflect on the changes you want to make. Whether you’re kicking a bad habit or trying to pick up a good one, getting the courage to make a healthy change this new year is the first step.
Let’s be honest, making significant changes is hard. Habits are easy to fall back into because they provide us with a sense of comfort. So, before you give up on this year’s resolutions, take some of these tips from Elizabeth Leschensky, nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare in Waukon, into consideration for a successful year.

Take a minute to reflect
Planning out a change in lifestyle and committing to those resolutions takes time and energy. Set aside time to sit down and reflect on the lifestyle you want and the one you’re leading now. Is this a good time in your life to make a change? Can you dedicate time to planning and taking action?
It’s hard to hit the ground running when you don’t know where you’re running to. That’s why it is important to create an achievable and solid plan before the New Year is underway. A long-term goal of losing 40 pounds sounds great, but achieving that in a healthy manner takes planning and confidence.

Keep your focus simple
As the saying goes, “take it one step at a time.” This also goes for losing weight. In order to lose one pound at a time you need to be patient, confident and stick to your plan. By focusing on small, simple goals, you will eventually achieve your long-term outcome of losing the weight you want and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Following a diet plan and working out regularly may not sound fun, but feeling good after does! Make your exercising enjoyable by inviting friends or joining a group workout class you’ve never tried before. Food can be fun, too. Venturing through cookbooks and exploring new, healthy meals may actually become a hobby of yours.
The finish line isn’t far away! “Keeping confidence and being patient are key factors to sticking with your resolution,” says Leschensky. “So, follow a plan and set goals, and you will soon be on your way to a healthier lifestyle this new year.”