[columnize][dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the ball about to drop at Times Square many people are beginning to make lofty resolutions. Unfortunately, according to research from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.

So the question could be, “How do I become one of the 8% who make it?” I think the better question to ask is, “Why is it that 92% of the population fail at reaching their goals?” The answer could be a number of reasons (if we were considering weight loss and exercise as the main New Year’s resolution).

  1. The goal was unrealistic
  2. Lack of support systems
  3. Fear of reaching the goal
  4. Lack of proper planning and strategy
  5. Not truly believing that the goal can be achieved
  6. The lifestyle that created the weight gain didn’t change enough
  7. A combination of any or all of the above

It is important to realize that getting out of shape is the gradual process of creating a lifestyle that is reflected in the physical form. Nobody woke up one morning to find themselves suddenly overweight. Yet, when it comes to losing the weight, most people expect quick, long lasting results just like the tabloid magazines would have you believe. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days and keep it off,” is something that screams at you at every checkout stand.

Let’s consider a different strategy that is more long term. It will take more time to see results but remember it took some time to get you where you find yourself now. Small obtainable changes in your life is more likely to last than trying to take on much larger changes. It is not just about eating right and exercising but how we feel about ourselves and how we treat ourselves.

Below you will find a list of items that consist of small changes that will help mold a healthy lifestyle. Cross off every item you already do on a consistent, daily basis. Then choose one item you are 95-100% confident you will be able to do daily for the next two weeks. After two weeks choose another item and so on. Before you know it, over the course of one year, you will have changed your lifestyle and your body will reflect it.

  • Sleep eight hours per night.
  • Take multivitamins and omega-3 fish oils daily.
  • Drink one glass of water at every meal.
  • Put your fork down in between bites.
  • Eat off a salad plate.
  • Take ten to twenty chews with every bite.
  • Get up from your chair once every hour.
  • Have a half cup of vegetables at every meal.
  • Prepare the next day’s meals the night before.
  • Meditate for 5 minutes daily.
  • Stop eating at least one hour before going to bed at night.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat all the colors of the rainbow. (Jellybeans do not count!)
  • Make a weekly shopping list and menu.
  • Make a gratitude list at the end of the day.
  • Limit to one “white” food each day.
  • Walk after dinner.
  • Limit your leisure screen time (i.e. TV, computer, smart phone, etc.) to 2 hours/day.
  • Invest in some good storage containers (Tupperware, Snapware, etc.).
  • Change from high sugar and fatty desserts at night to yogurt with nuts and honey.
  • Make a personal inventory list every week.
  • Make a list of short term and long term goals for all aspects of your life.
  • Create your own personal Mission Statement.
  • Perform 5 minutes of Interval Training every day.
  • Perform 5 minutes of Yoga every day.
  • Read something for 5 minutes that will improve your life or challenge your intellect.[/columnize]