Get healthy, feel better & lose weight
Guest post for MyNetDiary by Susie Pearl
How can you set goals that will work?
How can we avoid the pitfalls of setting goals and not keeping up?
Here's some fail-safe tips and techniques from Susie Pearl, author of "Instructions for happiness and success"
This time of year our thoughts start to turn to how to make lifestyle changes and get ourselves healthy for the New Year ahead. It's been the season to be merry and many of us have been eating and drinking too much and want to feel better and lighter.
It's time to make some changes. It's time to set some goals and intentions to be healthier, fitter and lose some weight so that we can feel better and be more energised for the year ahead.
Here's my guide for setting goals – and making sure that you stick to them successfully.
Set realistic goals
There is no point in making outlandish impossible goals that you know you will never achieve. Being too ambitious can set us up to fail before we've even started. It's far better to have some step-by-step goals, knowing that they are possible to achieve. Once you've achieved these, you can set some more challenging goals. So keep it easy and simple from the start – that way you are far more likely to make it work and keep going.
Support from a 'goal buddy'
Research around goal success shows we are more likely to succeed if we have a 'support buddy' to help and give us support. Get someone you can talk to regularly to support and work with you. Share your goals – highs and lows – and your results honestly and they can help you if the going gets tough with encouragement and positive feedback.
One of the tricks to succeeding is to get organised ahead of starting your new plan. Make a list of the things you will need to get or arrange to make your goals happen. Decide on a diet and exercise plan, research and book classes, get some exercise gear that is comfortable, make food shopping lists and so on. Success lies in organisation and getting well prepared. If you have everything ready, you are on course for success.
Plan your food
Get on an eating plan – work out exactly what your plan is around eating. Make sure those foods are available and keep the foods you want to avoid out of reach or better still out of your home. Many people have great success from following specific eating plans for a time to train themselves into new habits. Research shows that if you do anything for 21 days and it becomes a new 'habit' and easier.
Make it ok to fail
We all make plans and many fall of the plan at times. Do not give yourself a hard time if you slip up but rather notice what the trigger was and move back to your goals and keep going. If you 'fail', it doesn't matter. Dust yourself down and get back onto your plan. Adjust any negative self-talk. Make your inner mind chat more positive and kind – it works wonders for your overall success!
Your power is in how your run your mind
One of the most important aspects around healthy eating and weight loss is based on how we 'see' ourselves. Your imagination and mind power play an important part in the area of weight loss. Learn to look at your body positively, love your body and say positive things to yourself about your body. Imagine what you will look like when you lose a few pounds, imagine the feeling you will have being able to healthier from the inside. What you imagine and think about has a powerful aspect on your biology, psychology and physiology. Use your inner mind power to help you feel better about yourself. This will help in all aspects of your life - as well as help you get into healthier practices.
What's your motivation?
Write down your list of what motivates you to want to lose weight. Keep the list in the positive – so for example 'I will feel better when I walk to work and have more energy' rather than 'I don't want to feel exhausted all day'.
Make a list of 7 ideas that motivate you and put these up on the wall, in your bag, on the fridge, at work. The power of reminding ourselves of our inner motivation helps us stay on target.
Focus on good nutrition first and foremost
Many diets are about cutting certain foods out. It's important that when planning your eating habits, you plan for healthy balance. Sometimes it's better to reduce quantities and eat better quality. Health is about balance. Notice what you crave and work your programme around dealing with cravings with healthy alternatives.
We all love a reward. Set up a treats system when you hit certain points along your goals – have a massage, a manicure or an outing when you hit your key targets. This can help motivate you to stay on track. Get a buddy to validate your progress to get your rewards.
Get rid of the word 'dieting'
Replace the word 'diet' with 'healthy eating'. The very word diet can send people into a stress response and head straight for the chocolate or crisps.
Enjoy the feeling of getting healthier day by day
Once you get on the track of following your new goals and healthy eating plan, you'll start to feel better. Remember, 21 days of doing anything becomes a habit. Take it day by day, do your best and if you have a bad day, don't worry – start again tomorrow. You can do it!
Here's to healthier, brighter, energised living.
Happy New Year everyone!
Susie Pearl is an author and expert on happiness, success and goal setting. Her new book 'Instructions for happiness and success' is now available at Barnes & Noble, all good book stores and Amazon.com.
Susie works with A-list celebrities, entrepreneurs, business people and mentors people around the world. She has worked for MTV, Sony and is founder of a top celebrity PR agency based in London.
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