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How to make your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight succeed.

(Or How to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous)

By Phil Cameron

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for the coming year?  The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C.  Most people welcome in the New Year with a sense of hope and positive anticipation.  Leaving the past behind, you feel confident that this year will be better than the last.  A new year means a new start. 

 Yet, how can you make this year’s resolutions work?  For most people, even with the best of intentions, their new year’s resolutions have been forsaken by the kick-off of the Super Bowl.  How can this year be different?

 1.  Be Positive. 

2.  Create A Plan. 

3.  Get A Partner. 

4.  Be Patient. 

5.  Know Where You Are Today So You Can Know How Far You’ve Gone. 

6.  Take Action Now to be “Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented, and Fabulous.”

 1.  Be positive. 

If you examine most of your previous failed resolutions, you will notice that they are a reaction to something negative.  Weight loss is a classic “negative resolution”.  There is nothing wrong with this goal but it cannot sustain momentum for a life-time because at its core it negative.  Who wants to lose anything?  No one sets a goal to “lose their keys” or to “lose their job.”  To successfully “lose weight” you need to reframe the goal positively. 

 A more positive resolution is “I eat food with high nutritional value” or “I use all my muscles every day” or “I enjoy having a high muscle to fat ratio.”  It is always easier to move toward something than away from something.  “Don’t eat desserts” is hard to maintain (and not much fun) but “I eat sensible portions of a healthy dessert” is positive and achievable.

 Again, there is nothing wrong with “losing weight” as a goal but it should be only a small portion of your over-all health goals/resolutions.  If your goal is to be healthy, fit and active, does it makes sense to carry on your body 30, 40, 50 pounds or more of unnecessary fat?  That extra fat is a strain on your health and well-being.  However, fat reduction is not a very exciting.  Resolutions and goals such as, “I enjoy snow-shoeing in the mountains with my family” or “I play tennis with my friends every week” or “I love playing soccer with my grandkids” are optimistic and enjoyable.

 2.  Create a plan.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, "I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps it's because escape is easier than change."  What are your personal dreams?  What do you want to do in this season of life and the next and the next?  Is your goal to ski at age 70?  If so, what do you need to do now to bring that about?  Is your dream to hike the Appalachian Trail?  Do you want to bike through the Napa Valley?  Create a road map for your life. 

 Vic Johnson, a leading goal setting and motivation expert said, "Most people are in a free-fall through life, careening from one crisis to the next. If you were going to build a new house and you had this idea for a fabulous master bedroom suite, you wouldn't rush out and start building the master bedroom. You'd have a complete plan before you started."

 Once you have a plan then let someone check out your plan.  Is it doable, given your present stage of life?  Why do you want to make these resolutions and life-goals?  What is really motivating you to drop 3 dress sizes?  Are your goals worthy of who you are and who you should be?

 3.  Get a partner.

Don’t go it alone.  Isolation is usually perceived as a punishment, e.g. being sent to your room (alone), the “penalty box” in hockey, or in its most severe case, prison – isolating a criminal from society.  Yet, how many times have we felt the need for change and tried to do it alone – even the Lone Ranger had Tonto to help him out.  In Rich Dad / Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki observes that if you work “collaboratively” on a test in school, the teacher would say you were cheating.  But in the business world only a fool tries to succeed in business by himself.  All successful business men and women work with a host of helpers:  bankers, lawyers, accountants, tax advisers, etc. 

Most weigh loss programs, such as WeightWatchers, understand the power of positive peer pressure.  It is encouraging and motivational to be with other people who are traveling down the same road to health and fitness  If you have a desire to be healthy, it makes sense that you will want to have the support of others.  Can you do it alone?  Sure, but it not as much fun and very few are successful for the long haul. 

Pilates Central’s classes are created to help you achieve your fitness and health goals that’s fun and encouraging.  You can see you aren’t the only one who values good physical health and is willing to put the time and effort to achieve your goals.

 4.  Be patient.

If you are carrying more fat than you want and are not as fit as you were, it didn’t happen overnight.  If you are 45 pounds over-weight, you might have simply gained 3 pounds a year for 15 years.  Is it reasonable to think that you are going to lose that weight in 45 days?  You won’t lose the weight in days what has taken years to accumulate but the good news is this:  Most people gain weight UN-intentionally.  People don’t wake up and say:  “I’d like to pile on the fat and be less active today.”  Usually, a set of habits are formed that have the result of weight gain.  If you make a positive resolution, you are no longer living UN-intentionally but intentionally, with purpose and focus. 

 The road to success will not be immediate but it will be much faster than the road to failure.  Cut yourself a break and set a reasonable, achievable goal. 

 5.  Know where you are today so you can know how far you’ve gone.

Keep records.  If you goal is to weigh 150 pounds and have a body fat % of 15% then record how much you weigh today and what your body fat is today.  Not only will keeping records be of encouragement but it also can help hold you accountable to your stated goal and resolution.  If you goal is to run 3 miles 3 times a week then record how far and fast you can walk/run today. 

We all have the tendency to forget how much has changed for the good.  Consistent record keeping is a must.  If you want to make tons of money, you will need to keep accurate records to know where you are financially.  The same is true with your health.  Accurate record keeping, such as, cholesterol levels, weight, body fat are important diagnostic tools.  Yet, weighing yourself over and over again won’t help you reach your goals.  The most important aspect of successful resolutions is…

6.  Take action now.

Do one push-up.  Take a walk to the end of the street and back.  Plan your meals for the week now.  Call a friend and invite them to join you in this new life-style.  Sign up for a Pilates class.

A New Year’s Resolution Suggestion

Weight loss resolutions are a good place to start to take control of your health and life but they are only a beginning.  Consider deeply what your motivation to lose weight really is.  If you want to “look great” then seek to discover why this is important to you.  Is it motivated out of fear of growing old, or losing the affection and attention of your spouse?  Is it motivated by the expectation of a mother who can never be pleased or some vague cultural duty that is unachievable and unrealistic? 

If I may be so bold, let me suggest a New Year’s Resolution.  It is 4 resolutions wrapped up into one statement.  “I am brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous.”  Can you read those words aloud without giggling and feeling silly?  If not then let me share the context of this resolution.

Marianne Williamson in “A Return To Love” wrote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.  And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

In summary,

1.  Be Positive. 

2.  Create A Plan. 

3.  Get A Partner. 

4.  Be Patient. 

5.  Know Where You Are Today So You Can Know How Far You’ve Gone. 

6.  Take Action Now to be “Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented, and Fabulous.”