Struggling With Your Resolutions?

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Yes, I’m talking about the ones you made back in January.  How are you doing?  Have you lost those pounds, quit smoking or started exercising?  Did your good intentions last past January 5th?  There are so many reasons that we make but can’t keep promises to ourselves to get healthy.  An article on the Harvard Business Review website described 9 things that successful people do.  These things may be just what you need to redirect you back to your New Year’s Resolutions or help you with new ones that have cropped up since then.  So don’t wait for next December 31st to try again (or keep trying).  Take a look at these tips, and whether it’s business oryour health, get going!

  1. Get Specific – You can’t tell whether you ever reach your goal if don’t have exact numbers for it in mind.  Is this a number on the scale or a number on your cholesterol test?  Decide exactly how much progress  you want to make each month and track it so that you will know when you get there.
  2. Seize the moment  Get Specific to act on your goals There may never be a perfect time to tquick smoking because there will always be excuses and stressful days to prevent you from starting.  Choose a time and place in advance that you know will be conduvice to making your changes into a habit.  If you wait for the right moment, it may never arrive.
  3. Know exactly how far you have left to go – Monitor your progress consistently so that you always know where you stand.  Starting out with baseline testing for a range of bodily functions provides information about your progress moving forward.  If you are making major lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes or to lower LDL cholesterol or  Lp-PLA2 levels to prevent stroke risk, get tested every 3 months to track your progress and help you to keep your end goals in sight.
  4. Be a realistic optimist – You need to be optimistic when setting out to tackle a difficult task, but be realistuc so that you aren’t discouraged after 3 days of trying.  Think through your plan of attack carefully, being aware of obstacles and difficulties so that you prepared to deal with them.  Telling yourself it will be easy won’t benefit you in thelong run.  Expect difficulties with a solid plan in hand.
  5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good – Long-term goals don’t usually start off with huge leaps in progress, but with small steps that lead toward your objectives.  Plan to make small improvement every day rather than expecting yourself to be perfect.  This is why consistent monitoring of your progress helps.  You can look back at all the small steps over time and see the bigger picture of large improvements.
  6. Have grit – Know that you will have to work hard and persevere to reach your goals.  You will have to keep going every day, and some days it will be really hard.  If you think that you can’t do it you will defeat yourself before you start.  Build up your grit factor by strong planning, solid strategies, a lot of effort and persistence.  You may surprise yourself!
  7. Build your willpower muscle – Studies have shown that you can improve your willpower overtime with practive.  Although in the beginning you may onle be able to tackle one goal, if you keep at it you will get better at skipping dessert of working out after work and it will get easier.  Once you have your first major goal nailed, it’s time to move  on to the next one.  Practicing on the first task you’ve set yourself will make your willpower muscle stronger and ready for more challenges.
  8. Don’t tempt fate – If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, don’t hit the pizza parelot!  Keep as many obstacles out of the way, and out of the kitchen, as possible.  Do your best to avoid tempting places and things and keep them out of sight at home.
  9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do – Research has shown that just telling yourself what you won’t do isn’t the best path to success.  If you are going to be successful decide in advance what is going to take the place of the habit, or foods, that you are trying to eliminate.  Instead of a cigarette, take a walk around the block every day at the time you normally smoked.  Instead of a handful of cookies, play a game with your children or a friend and enjoy spending time with them for your daily dose of satisfaction.

Once you get a solid start with baseline testing at a reliable laboratory, like ANY LAB TEST NOW®, and start making progress toward your goals, you will feel better, not only physically, but about yourself and your ability to succeed.  Continue monitoring yourself and over time reap the rewards of your success.  Successful people translate these skills to all areas of their lives.  You can too.