SP Premium

How Will You Make This the Year of Lasting Change?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you are someone who has struggled with weight issues for a while, you know how frustrating it can be.  You start the year with lots of motivation and great intentions to change your habits and become a healthier person.  Things go great at first, but as the weeks and months go by, you find yourself slipping back into old habits.  The diet and exercise "thing" becomes a drag, and eventually you decide it’s not worth it and you’d rather indulge in the hot fudge sundae than get all sweaty on the treadmill at the gym. 
Ask yourself this question:  What is going to make this year different?  Whether your goal is to lose 100 pounds and be on the cover of a magazine, or you want to become more fit so that you can keep up with your kids at the park, how are you going to make that happen? When do you say that enough is enough and you’re tired of living a life that’s not your ideal? 
There’s no point in dwelling on the past.  Yes, you can certainly learn from mistakes so that you’re less likely to repeat them.  But the only thing you can control is what happens from this moment forward.  You have the power to choose the direction of today.  Are you going to make choices that keep you moving toward your goals, or are you going to make choices that take you further away?
It’s not easy.  There are days when I eat too many sweets or I skip a workout "just because".  Nobody is perfect.  But most of the time, before I make those decisions I try to think about how I’ll feel later on.  If I eat another handful of M&M’s, am I going to be disappointed in myself at the end of the day?  Knowing the answer is “yes” helps motivate me to make better decisions.
My advice is to start slow and set some reasonable, short term goals.  Think about making changes to your life that you can live with forever.  You might feel motivated to start working out for two hours a day, but can you keep that up for the rest of your life?  The answer:  probably not.   You might think that cutting all sweets out of your diet is the way to go.  But if someone told me I could never have another piece of chocolate cake, I’d probably end up binging on it eventually.  Consider moderation when making changes to your life. 
Let’s make this year your best one yet!  Are you with me?  What kinds of goals have you set for the New Year and how are you going to make this year a success? 

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


EVIE4NOW 4/21/2020
Thanks for the reminder to set small goals. Report
Setting realistic goals to start with. Report
This will be our year! Report
Great article Report
thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thank you for this article. Report
I have set a goal this year and have been steadily moving toward it. I also learned to set up many small goals which give me the incentive to reach higher. The only drawback I have this year is that both of my doctors have said I am doing good that I don't need to be intense any longer and I feel as if I am still short of my ultimate goal. Report
They say it takes 30 days to make a new habit, and I've been working at making a new habit for the last 5 months. I am concentrating on making my workout a part of my daily routine 6 days a week, and I'm doing what I enjoy the most: speed walking with my dog. As the weather gets nice, I'm going to add some bike riding, because I love that too. Only doing exercise I enjoy will more than likely keep me from procrastination or not wanting to work out.

This also goes for food. I eat healthy, wholesome foods, but only if I enjoy them. Not making myself feel deprived isn't going to help. Learning what and how much to eat on a regular basis and enjoying the food I eat will also keep me on track. Report
Workout for 10 minutes daily (which means I end up doing a lot more :)
and eating mindfully and being kind to myself. Report
Yep. Slow but steady changes are winning this race for me. This blog is sound counsel! Report
my goals are to exercise at least 10 minutes everyday, track my food, and choose healthier foods, so i know i'm staying within my recommended daily calorie intake. i also want to get rid of some credit card debt and find a new job, so i can reduce my stress and not turn to emotional eating!!! Report
Slow and Steady Wins the Race! Report
It took me years to gain to my heaviest weight 345,only two years to lose to my present 137. I am maintaining now for 4 months. My goal is to maintain my weight in my range 135 to 140. Build up my muscles and fitness level. I need to track my food everyday, I want to be reminded what I am eating, the nutritional value of the items. I don't want to slip backwards, so tracking and exercising everyday is my top goal. I will do that as long as it's necessary to stay in this healthy fit condition. Report
I've backslid with my weight because I stopped doing the good things I was doing. So now my goals are:
1) Exercise at least 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week
2) Stay within my calorie limit
3) No snacking after 8:00 pm
4) Be in bed by 10:00 pm (Extremely difficult for me! I'm a night owl!) Report
I have started a weight loss plan, lost some weight and then fall away from the plan. Now I am trying not to get overwhelmed and focus on small increments of weights, and eventually they will total a large amount of weight. Report
Goals are no eating after 7pm, try more veg recipes, hold plank for 3 min (at 1 min 15 seconds now), exercise at least 5 days a week, know that I will mess up but will keep moving forward. Good luck sparkers! Report
I did up a contract that listed all of my goals for the year. I printed off 2 copies. Posted one on my fridge that way I can see it every time I open it. The other I printed ioff a bit bigger. Framed it and put it on my bedroom door. See it there everyday as well. So now my goals are directly in front of me to remind me of what I need to do to be successful. After reading your blog and responding I have just decided that I will post one in my cubby here at work just for an extra reminder. That way if others see it they will ask, which will remind me more.

All the best and success with your goals this year. Report
This is just what I need! I wrote "What is going to make this year different?" in my journal and I will be answering that question with action and one better decision at a time until I reach my goals this year ! THANKS Report
I'm just going to keep trying and not beat myself up! Report
Being part of SP and the support of Spark friends has definitely helped me tremendously. Report
I was part of SP before, then I drifted away. Now I am back with more resolve. One strategy that is currently serving me well is 1) food tracking (I wish more places posted their calorie counts. Yes my goal is to eat at home more, but in the mean time, it would be helpful.) 2) commuting to work partially by bike. My work is 14 miles away. My ultimate goal is to ride all 14 miles roundtrip each day. Not there yet, but that's fine. Currently, I take a combination of train and bike. Finally, I set a goal for myself in October to do a Sprint Triathlon in July. Paying for a race and doing incremental training feels great. Report
I love setting goals for myself to challenge myself. So in this year I want to run/walk a 15k and also bench press 50 lbs. this article is right on. Report
I have learned instead of focusing on the total amount of weight you want to lose just focus on the first 5percent then 10percent until you reach your goal. Good luck everyone in 2012 Report
"Making choices that move me closer to my goals" has been a very powerful concept for me to integrate into my life. Thank you for stating so well what we needed to be reminded of.
Hope your 2012 is the greatest! Report
Setting small goals, being forgiving of myself, and just trying to make progress and not be perfect. Report
I was like MAGGIEROSEBOWL; I was floating at maintenance for several months, though I still have a long way to go. What I did differently is that I continued to track the food and exercise; I maintained quite nicely until I lagged on the walking and went up three pounds. Holidays are over; back to the exercise routine. I revisited my 2010 goal, which I met, and set two for for 2012. Thanks for the blog. Report
I want to stay motivated all year to do my excercising. Therefore I have the goal of walk/run several races this year.
I also plan to be as active as I can with Sparkpeople.com, by setting monthly goals in line with my everchanging circumstances. Report
I think we do need to dwell on things on the past. Okay, not dwell actually, but consider why things went wrong with past actions and *then* move past it and on to the future of making better choices. "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Report
After I am done eating (my goal is nothing after 7) and I still want to eat, I chew gum. Keep up the good work! Report
I have exactly the same problems. I get so much done after everyone else goes to bed. But that is also when I can snack with no one judging me. I have resolved to try to be in bed by 9:15 or 9:30 no matter what's on TV or what chores I haven't done. Anyway good luck!! Report
I have set a goal of doing at least 10 minutes of cardio each day. Eating healthier and watching my portions, but not starving myself. Just wish I could find a way to NOT think about food all the time! Report
Just read a blog from Shay Sorrells, an ex-Biggest Loser contestant. She was probably one of the heaviest women ever, weighing in at over 400 lbs, but has consistently lost weight in the years since the show, until this year evidently, when she started slipping back into her old ways. I hit goal last April, and continued to lose until October. At the beginning of November, I told myself I'm on maintenance, now I can eat like a normal person. I had no concept of what that is, and have since read articles that tell how people who have lost a lot of weight are never normal. Their body's hunger signals are stronger, their "full" signals are weaker and it even takes more exercise for them to burn calories than a person who has always been at a normal weight. So during my time of eating what I perceived to be "normally" I gained 5 lbs. I'm still below my goal weight by 15 lbs., but I don't like this upward trend. Shay suggest tracking your food again. I quit doing that. Today I start. It's the first step to getting back on track and stopping the ominous, awful, foreboding and deathly weight regain! Report
I have to get my snacking under control, and I need to work on getting enough sleep. It seems so easy, but there are just so many interesting things to do besides sleep. Report
I'm going to keep reminding myself of how much better my body feels when I'm eating less and eating healthier. My holiday indulgences were a fresh reminder that overeating makes me feel gross! I'm so ready to get back on track! Report
May we all stay motivated... for the rest of our lives !!! I find it easy to set even reasonable goals... It is the motivation to attain the goals that becomes the sticking point... pray for me... I need it!!! Report
To have a succesful 2012 I will continue to do what I started with SP in March 2011. Setting new goals as I get stronger. Love my baby steps that have been big changes for the positive in my life. Report
My goal is to lose my last 30lbs and remain active. I started toward my goal in September of last year and was able to lose 26lbs prior to the new year so I dont feel the pressure of staring because its a new year. Its already been in progress. My plan is to conitnue on the path that I have already began...Which surprisingly has been easy for me. I feel like I worked out a lot of my kinks and hang ups prior to the year starting and now its kind of moving smoothly as long as I do what I know I need to do and i like that feeling! I know Im going to be faced with challenges along the way but I made this decision to change my life and I plan to stick to it (even if I do fall along the way)! Ive been through enough to know and understand that falling does not mean you have been defeated! Report
I have set the goal to keep exercising until the baby is born in May. Then continue to get my eating and exercise under control and drop 60 pounds. I will stay motivated. Hope you will too. Report
Walking Guide