New Year, new you, who knew?

Here it is, another New Year, and already our New Year resolution guilt may be weighing heavily upon us. It doesn’t help to see all of the signs at the local health clubs advertising “A New Year and a New You!” Gee, and I kind of liked the old one. Adding insult to injury are the endless commercials for weight loss programs neatly sandwiched in between all of the commercials for junk food in anticipation of the playoffs and the upcoming Super Bowl. It’s even more difficult to get motivated to stick to those New Year’s goals for fitness and weight loss with the cold, dreary weather. Those junk food commercials are looking like a good option. What’s a body to do?

Before you give up, here’s a little bit of advice which is not only helpful but practical as well. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself, and the beginning of a brand new year is an ideal time to look forward to a fresh new start. However, anytime you are trying to make changes, it’s important to set clear goals that are achievable as well as flexible.

Don’t focus on the end result. Instead, focus on the journey. Set several small goals that are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle, give yourself a time limit to achieve your goals, and write them down. You may post them in a place where you can see them every day, as a gentle reminder of what you would like to accomplish for yourself. Some days you will achieve your goals, some days you will exceed your goals, and some days you will fall flat on your face.

It’s important to celebrate your success, but even more important to be kind to yourself on the days you fall short. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up. Speak softly and gently to yourself, and speak positive words of encouragement. Your nervous system is always listening, always paying attention to the messages you are sending it, and it will respond accordingly. Giving yourself positive information and giving yourself the opportunity to grow and succeed is the best gift you can give yourself and the best New Year Resolution you can make. And that, I believe, is truly something to celebrate! Happy, Healthy and Positive New Year to everyone!