It’s a New Year and many people are considering making positive changes, yet get stuck reflecting on ones they have made in the past that failed.
You are not alone. Our government faced struggles in decision-making with arguments being lodged for change in multiple directions. Does that ambivalence and argument sound familiar?
Are you at a physical cliff, an impasse, a “things have to change” point?
Many of us struggle with what is best for us and how to make changes that will be helpful in the long-term, but could “hurt” or seem hard in the short-term. It could be time for you to do something that while uncomfortable initially, could lead to a personal triumph and mastery over your own mind and body.
Change can be hard. It often involves an internal debate about the “good” and the “bad” related to changing a behavior. If all the positives win out, change will occur. My first blog of 2013 is a challenge to all to face this personal health and physical cliff with a sense of energy and enthusiasm about our future, to strongly consider the impact we can have on our mind and bodies right now.
For simplicity (or creativity’s) sake, I’ll call this the 2-0-1-3 Call to Action–a tip sheet based on the research of many who know what it takes to get our nation in a healthier place emotionally and physically this year.
2 – Hours of Screen Time
Less than two hours of screen time each day. Screens include TV, computers, phones, video games. Children who watch more than two hours of TV daily are more likely to be overweight. Let’s get up and get moving. Let’s create something. Help a neighbor. Spend time with someone we love.
0 – Guilt About Setbacks
Number of times we will berate ourselves for slip-ups….. ZERO. Setbacks are opportunities to reflect on ways that we have been successful in the past or can make another positive choice today. Considering changing the environment to make change easier. According to psychologists Dr. David Neal and Dr. Wendy Wood, simple changes in the environment can help you make a lasting healthy change that can lead to more changes. Put the candy in the back of the freezer, and cut up fruit in the morning before you leave for work and place it in the front of the refrigerator. That way, when you come home hungry you are more likely to grab the healthier snack. Put on your exercise clothes BEFORE you leave work so you are more motivated to get on that treadmill when you get home.
1 – Priority for Your Health
Your health on the priority list. Research is clear that a healthy body creates a healthier mind and vice versa. Pick one aspect of your behavior to change at a time. Small steps lead to big effects! Decide you are going to park farther from the door at the grocery story to decrease sedentary time and increase active time. Do one plank a day. Make a specific plan, and you are more likely to stick with it.
3 – Meals to Eat Daily
The number of meals you should plan each day. Fail to plan? Plan to fail. Make a plan to succeed today by planning for healthy eating. Dr. Leonard Epstein and his colleagues developed the Traffic Light Diet, which simplifies food choices for families in their weight loss programs. This way of eating teaches families how to select foods from the green category (GO), moderate portions of the foods from the yellow category (SLOW) and be more sparing with foods in the red category (WHOA).
One model does not fit all. The government has not pleased everyone in its agreement that avoids a fiscal cliff even if efforts are made to find a happier medium. However, WE can TAKE ACTION today by making a choice to do something each day that we know can be helpful.
Photo by nekosoft (via Flickr)