A Realistic Approach to a Healthy New Year 2013
By Jon Mikami, RPh, and Kelly Go, RPh, Molokai Drugs, Inc.
It’s January 2013, and you know what that means. “New Year’s” and “resolution” are about as inseparable as hamburger and French fries, stew and rice, or fish and poi. Maybe you want to eat less, exercise more at Na Pu’uwai Fitness Center, quit smoking, or spend more time with your ohana.
Easy does it. Before you take the plunge, try rethinking your approach. Instead of making vague, sudden, and difficult-to-keep resolutions, think in terms of healthy lifestyle changes – more of a work in progress.
Start small, with one goal at a time, and make a solid plan. Remember, small changes really do add up. One way to be more effective is to create SMART goals:
Specific. State exactly what you want to accomplish. Make sure your goal is not hard to understand. Getting fit is not a specific goal. Being able to run a 5K under 30 minutes is. Write down exactly what you plan to do as well as when and how often. Post it where you’ll be sure to see it.
Measurable. If a goal is measurable, you can evaluate your progress and know when you’ve succeeded. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you can check your body mass index (BMI) or see if you can get the zipper up on a smaller pair of jeans or shorts.
Attainable. Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds by your Molokai High and Intermediate School class reunion this Memorial Day. But seriously, is this really realistic? Instead, have a conversation with your doctor about safe methods and rates of weight loss. Losing one or two pounds a week might be more reasonable. Or, maybe you’d like to quit smoking “cold turkey,” but you know that tapering off will make it easier for you. Set yourself up for success by setting goals that are truly attainable.
Relevant. Is this really a goal you’re interested in? Or is it something your spouse has thrown upon you? Make sure the steps you’re taking will help you meet your specific goal.
Time-bound. It’s human nature to put things off. Remember to set specific deadlines. Try setting lots of shorter time-bound goals. This may make it easier to stay on track and reach your final destination.
You are also more likely to succeed if you are clear about why you want to make a particular change and know how it will benefit you. Also, identify your support system and ask for help when you need it, and come up with a reward for reaching a specific goal. All these things can help you stay motivated.
It will also help to create visible cues that remind you that you want to make a change. Maybe that means keeping workout clothes within easy reach. Remove things that will undercut your will; for example, if Dave’s Ice Cream is your weakness, it won’t help to know that there’s a pint of cookies-n-cream in the freezer with your name on it. But slip-ups happen; just get back into your groove and keep going.
Need more ideas about lifestyle changes you can make? Stop by Molokai Drugs and we can discuss your goals or call us at 808-553-5790. Mahalo and best wishes in reaching your goals in 2013!