Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

listIt’s hard to believe that we are approaching the beginning of 2017. This is the time when many of us make our New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you make a resolution or two each year? How successful are you at fulfilling your resolutions?

I recently saw a definition of a New Year’s Resolution as a “to do list” for the first week in January!

For many people, unfortunately, this joke is their reality. Research shows that only 8% of those who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving what they have resolved. Some say that the reason our resolutions don’t work is that they are sometimes based on wishful thinking. Who doesn’t want to be happier, thinner, fit, more financially secure, etc.!  If only we could wave a magic wand and make it happen. Since that’s not possible, how can we help to ensure that the changes we want to see for ourselves are carried out?

The best advice for making positive changes in our lives is to be ready for the challenge.  There are  two basic strategies that can help you be successful:

1st Set realistic goals

  • Choose one or two achievable goals.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive with behavior change – take it slow!
  • Write them down. If you can see them each day, it may give you the motivation you need.

2nd Create an environment that will help you to succeed.

  • If you want to lose weight or become more fit, find an activity that you enjoy.
  • Ask others to help. A walking buddy can help you commit to that daily walk.
  • Enjoy a piece of fruit (or vegetable) every afternoon as a snack. This behavior helps you increase your fruit and veggie intake which may lead to behavior changes that encourage weight loss.
  • Don’t buy junk food – fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy food and snacks.
  • If saving money is your goal, be sure you know the difference between your “wants” and “needs”.
  • Increase your money management skills by taking a class on budgeting or finance.

As you are making these new habits a part of your life, it would be good to avoid places, people, and situations that you know encourage your old habits. Stay away from people who try to sabotage your plans for a healthier life. Start with a small change and once it becomes a habit, explore the next step that you can take to achieve your overall goal.

Set some milestone markers and reward yourself when you reach them. That first marker might be walking at least 3 days per week when your goal is 5 days.  Buy yourself something fun – maybe a new pair of funky socks.

Maybe most importantly, don’t expect perfection!  Remember, you want this to be a new-years-resolutionlifelong change. There will be times that you will slip back into old habits but don’t use that as an excuse to give up on your goals. Recognize your mistake, refocus and move forward.

Author:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Franklin County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Pickaway County

References:

http://moneysmarts.iu.edu/tips/basics/new-years-resolution.shtml

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statisticshttp://extension.usu.edu/htm/news-multimedia/articleID=4157

http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2016/be-successful-in-keeping-new-year2019s-resolutions

http://uwyoextension.org/uwnutrition/2013/01/31/new-years-resolution-solutions/

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_three_most_important_tactics_for_keeping_your_resolutions

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Beach

It is hard to believe that we are entering the second half of 2016. Where did the time go? Were you like most of us who set a New Year’s goal or resolution?

How are you doing with that goal? Did you achieve it and move forward with your new healthy lifestyle behaviors? Did you get sidelined by events in your life?

If this new habit is part of your routine, great! If not, is it still relevant? Do you need to revise your goal? Recently I encouraged program participants to set a SMART Goal. What is a SMART goal?

One of the best things you can do to start on your road to health is to set goals using the SMART method.  Let’s start by setting a SMART Wellness Goal. Make sure your goal contains all of these components:

S                  Specific – Walk 30 minutes

M               Measurable – 6 days each week

A                Attainable and Action-Oriented – I will walk (I have no limitations)

R                 Realistic – I already walk 15 minutes 6 days of the week

T                Time Specific – By August 15, 2016

SMART Goal: By August 15, 2016, I will walk for 30 minutes at least 6 days each week.

Another Example of a SMART Goal: By August 15, 2016, I will stretch for 10 minutes at least 5 days a week.

Take a few minutes to write down Your SMART Goal: __________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

Goal cropped 2

A great website tool to help you set nutrition and physical activity goals is SuperTracker which is available from the United States Department of Agriculture. Visit their website to get started with five simple goals. You will determine your goals and periodically receive encouragement thru your email.

Why should you consider your goals during vacation time? For many of us, vacation offers extra time to reflect on our lives and evaluate our progress. I consider my July vacation as a mid-point check-up. Are there things that I want to change to improve my health? Are there activities/projects that I want to accomplish before the year end? If so, taking a few minutes to pause and identify action steps & setting a SMART goal will help me achieve my goals.

Want a little more motivation? Check out Move it Monday for their Tip of the Week and suggestions for being more active.

Remember that even if you were derailed on your New Year’s Resolutions, it isn’t too late to start again! Write that goal and get started this vacation season!

Written by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu

Read Full Post »

winter exercise

According to Wikipedia, a mulligan is second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder.  Well, I’m taking a mulligan on my exercise routine!  I was pretty faithful to my favorite activity of walking, recording with my Fitbit and using an app on my phone to track my activity.  Then, “life” happened…I got busy with work and family and holidays, etc. and my exercise routine suffered. I failed to keep it a priority.  But, the New Year happened last Thursday, and I decided to “take a Mulligan”.  I’m starting over.  I’ve walked outside everyday this year!

But, walking outside can be pretty cold!  Fortunately, there is a small college in my town and they allow the general public to utilize their fitness facility with a great walking track. I like to go there.  If you’re not in a similar situation, consider other options available to you, such as walking in a large Home Improvement or Warehouse type store.  Think about walking in a hospital, and using the stairs between each floor.  Go to an indoor shopping mall, just pocket your cash for now. Look for other climate controlled opportunities in your area.  Of course, there’s always indoor fitness equipment to purchase, if you want to do that.

If you do walk outside, there can be many wonderful advantages.  The environment varies, you see others who are choosing to be healthy, too, and that is an encouragement. The crisp air can be invigorating and energizing!   Just be sure to dress for the weather and the exercise and follow these simple tips:

  • Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, but especially if you are considering heading outside during these cold winter months and have certain conditions, such as asthma, heart problems or Raynaud’s disease.
  • Check the forecast. The wind can play a major role in staying warm.
  • Avoid the inclination to overdress. Exercise will generate heat, so dress in layers that you can remove as you warm up. Otherwise, you’ll get too hot, then perspiration will begin to evaporate and you will feel too cool. Look for base layer fabrics designed for winter workouts. Fabrics that wick away moisture will keep you dryer and warmer.
  • Protect your head, hands, feet and ears. These extremities get cold because blood flow is concentrated in your core.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Call a friend to go with you for support and accountability.

There more details at these sites providing additional, in-depth information:

Sources: Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20045626

WebMD http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-to-keep-working-out-in-winter

 

Writer: Kathryn K Dodrill, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

 

Read Full Post »

smart goalsAre you one of the thousands of people that decide to make a New Year’s resolution each year? Do you always swear you are going to work out more, go on the latest diet craze, or lose weight?

Research has shown that after one month of making a New Year’s resolution, about 64% of people still stick with their goal. After 6 months, the number drops to 44%. Why do many people who vow to become more fit, eat better, or change another behavior have a hard time keeping their word?

Our society has adapted to performing behaviors that will produce quick results. Because of this, the planning and proper goal-setting get thrown to the wayside and goals become unrealistic and too difficult to reach. Now that we’re half-way through the year, it may be time to look at how your New Year’s Eve goal is coming along. Using a tool called the SMART objectives is an effective strategy to keep on track with your goals, no matter what they are related to (health, job, stress-relief, academics, etc.). The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-phased. Below gives a breakdown of the SMART objectives.

Specific: Who is the target population? In other words, who will be doing the behavior to reach this goal? What will the action, activity, or behavior be? What will you be doing?

Example: ‘I will exercise.’

Measurable: How much change is expected? Can you actually measure the results?

Example: ‘I will go for a brisk walk outside for 30 minutes twice a week and document it on a sheet of paper or in a log.’

Attainable: Is your goal practical? Are you able to carry out this behavior knowing your resources and constraints?

Example: Even if you don’t have the financial means to join a gym or fitness club, choose to walk outside somewhere close to home or in inclement weather have a back-up plan of using a DVD to work out at home.

Realistic: Is this goal something you can actually do, or is it too difficult to achieve?

Example: If you haven’t exercised in years or never at all, would you be able to walk for 30 minutes twice a week or would it be more realistic to start off doing 10 or 15 minutes twice a week?

Time-bound: Does your goal have a time-frame? When will you meet your goal?

Example: ‘I will go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes twice a week for two weeks and log it each time.’ Then you can build on this goal and increase the amount of time or days you walk – doing 30 minutes three times a week instead of twice.

I always like to say that it’s never too late to start over with your original goal or create a new mid-year resolution! Remember – positive behavior change should be a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix. Taking a little time to plan, set realistic goals, and have a strategy to overcome obstacles will ensure you’re set up for success. When creating goals related to living a healthier lifestyle, make sure to be SMART about it!

References:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/evaluation/pdf/brief3b.pdf
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/new-years-resolutions-1-month-later
Photo reference: http://workablewealth.com/are-you-being-smart/

Written by: Shannon Erskine, Dietetic Intern/Liz Smith, OSU Extension
Reviewed by: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Read Full Post »

Were you part of the 40 – 45% of Americans who made a New Year’s Resolution? If so, you probably picked one of the common resolutions – lose weight, quit smoking, save money, or get fit. The experts say that about half of those who make a resolution are successful for at least six months. The interesting thing that psychologist have found is that if we set a resolution, we are 10 times more likely to make a change than those who are trying to make a change, but haven’t declared it as a resolution. We are only a couple days into the New Year and you still have plenty of time to work on your resolution or goal so that you can find success with it. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of having a successful resolution:

  • If your resolution was to lose weight, don’t start with a goal that is overly high. Maybe you would like to lose 40 pounds, but the best way to have success is to break down your goal to smaller pieces. Start with the things that will help with that weight loss – “I’m going to work out for 30 minutes, 3 times per week” or “I’m not going to order French fries” or “I’m going to give up sweet tea”. Be sure you write down a measurable goal and keep a log or chart.
  • If your resolution was to save money or reduce your debt and you haven’t been saving at all, start small. Try a couple months of having $10 or $20 taken out of your check and directly deposited in a savings account – and don’t cut into it unless there is an emergency. (By emergency I mean, your car broke down, not the shoe store had a sale.) Then when you get a raise increase the amount or if you have an overtime check – add to it.
  • If your resolution related to getting a better job, or maybe just getting back into the workforce – put deadlines on your steps. By January 15 I will use the resources available at my local library or on the Chamber job website – for example. If you need further education to get a better job, give yourself a deadline to call the local community college or adult education program to find out what is available.
  • If you resolution was to take a special trip – start by doing research about how much it will cost, get books from the library to find out what you want to do, go online and order any free maps or brochures, and start saving a little out of each paycheck for your trip. If you get a decent income tax refund this year – save as much as you can – or use it to order your plane tickets.

If you didn’t decide on a resolution on New Year’s Day – it isn’t too late – write one down today. Focus on goals that are realistic, with measurable results that you can chip away at, and hold yourself accountable. But don’t be too quick to give up, if you have had a hard week and things didn’t go as well as you would have liked, set a small goal that you know you can succeed with for the next couple days. You may also need to change who you spend time with to succeed, we do imitate those we are around. If you want to quit smoking, but you take your breaks with a friend who smokes, it will probably be hard for you. You might need to take breaks with a co-worker who doesn’t smoke for a while. Most importantly, don’t keep your resolution to yourself; share it with someone you trust that can encourage you when you get off track.

Written by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Sources:

American Psychological Association, Monitor on Psychology, S. Dingfelder, Vol 35, No 1, http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan04/solutions.aspx.

University of Maryland Medical Center, Where to Begin: Expert Advice on Maintaining Resolutions, http://www.umm.edu/features/prepare.htm.

Read Full Post »