Monday, December 28, 2015

Resolutions Are Not Results

It's that time of year once again for "the New Years resolution". Have you come up with one? Are you mulling it over? Do you even remember last years resolution at all? Perhaps you are only reminded by the monthly gym membership that you are still paying? Do you remember what the gym looked like 9 months ago?
If you have a resolution do you have a plan? Remember that a resolution does not equal success or results. A resolution is a decision based on determination. If you lack determination then you will not be able to follow through with your New Year's resolution. You are just going through the motions.

To make a true change you have to recognize that you have to change a habit or habits. In something like quitting smoking most past smokers will tell you that the hardest part of quitting smoking was not the withdrawal. Yes that is definitely very difficult. Most who successfully have quit will remember that it was the habits that went along with the cigarette that was the hardest to overcome. The first cigarette in the bathroom after the alarm goes off, the one in the car on the way to work, the one on your 10 minute break, the after dinner cigarette. What do you do now on that 10 minute break?   How do you change your habits during these times so you don't break down and ask a co-worker for a cigarette which is the beginning of the failure once again?

Habits are so hard to change! That is why it seems to be harder to change something in your life that consists of multiple habits. Changing one small habit is fairly easy. An example of this might be a resolution to go to bed 45 minutes earlier each night or wake up 45 minutes earlier.  This is one habit that done over about a full week will most likely be very successful. Also, deciding to walk one extra mile when you already walk four miles will be easily achieved.

So, lets take this idea and apply it to a difficult resolution that involves a lot of habits. Apply it to a resolution to change to a LCHF Ketogenic diet. This year you resolve that you want to be really committed and make it your lifestyle and you are going to stop eating the wrong snacks. What habits will need to be changed? Each eating habit you have can be a stumbling block so they each need to be addressed seriously and separately. Here are some examples you may want to consider:

Eating on the run or in the car
Eating too late because you have to get the kids ready first
Munching on the kids or spouses foods while you prepare their meals
Taking bars or shakes to work for breaks
Eating fast food lunches
Eating while watching TV
Eating based on your emotions
Keeping high carb foods in the house for the family that you seem unable to avoid yourself.

There are many more food "habits" that could be listed but you get the idea. Do you see from this list why changing eating habits may be just as difficult as quitting smoking?

Once you identify your habits you have to find a solution. Will you be successful if all of these habits are changed at once? That certainly looks like a fail when you look at the entire list! You have to create a solution for each one of these habits. The first two on the above list may be solved first by changing a small habit first; that habit would be to change the time that you wake up. Change that habit and perhaps you can find time to prepare a healthy food rather than grab an unhealthy food. Let's face it, you are not eating scrambled eggs in the car.

Another habit that can be changed that is a more simple habit would be to set aside a day and a time once or twice a week to prepare take along foods for breaks and lunches. Changing this habit helps to solve the problem of eating at fast food joints and instead of shakes or protein bars you will enjoy turkey cheese roll-ups, hard boiled or deviled eggs, chicken or tuna salads and the like. Resolve that Sunday afternoon for one hour is going to be a food prep time and make that a habit.

Emotional eating or eating while watching TV are difficult habits to break. Recognizing it is a key to working on the reasons. In the mean time make sure that you make a habit to make better snack choices while at the grocery store and use some of your prep time to give yourself these extra snacks for these emotional eating times.

 Instead of grabbing your kids bag of chips, have some turkey and cream cheese roll-ups waiting in the refrigerator or have some of your home made "cheese nachos" and sour cream ready to munch on. Have some "salami jalapeno roll-ups" during your usual TV watching snack time. All of these things can be made and placed into containers or zip lock bags.

So, here are two basic changes that can potentually solve the 8 eating habit issues that are going to be quite hard to change all at once. It is much easier to make the two new habits work than to try to change the others.

Don't make the mistake of making a resolution that creates even more chaos in your habit filled life! If you resolve to both diet and exercise to change your couch potato lifestyle you have doubled the number of habits that will need to be addressed! Think about that! Is it any wonder that the gym membership card has been gathering dust on your dresser?

Again, we want results not just resolutions. Of course make your resolution but also resolve to get results; not in the way you tried to get results in the past but by trying a new way! Think it through. What can you do to create NEW habits that will bring the results you want to achieve?


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