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Friday, January 02, 2009

10 Ways to Reach Your Goals

10 Ways to Reach Your Goals
By Johnson Erin
eDiets Contributor

Whether you are close to meeting your goals or have reached them in weight loss, maintenance or even gain, what are the next steps? Now you need to keep your health in check and stay on track to living a healthy lifestyle!

"Falling off the wagon is all too common, but avoidable," Pamela Ofstein, eDiets Director of Nutrition Services, explains.

"Keeping focused is a challenge, but with a few key concepts you can stay on track."

She suggests using the eDiets Web site for advice and support, along with the following 10 tips to reach your goals:

MOTIVATION! This is the first step, and is individual to each of us. It can be personal, health related or even event-based (such as needing to wear a certain gown for a wedding).

SET THE MOOD! Make your environment a positive aura. Eliminate foods from your kitchen that may wean you off your program. Make eating enjoyable. Why not have candles at dinner, or drink water from a nice wine glass? This approach will help you appreciate every bite of the food you are eating, help you eat slower and your brain register when it is full.

LOSE WEIGHT, NOT POUNDS! Putting a number on weight loss gives it such a negative feel. It's certainly better to lose a single pound versus none, and also remember it is better to maintain lost weight than to watch the scale increase. Focus on overall success!

QUALITY TIME! You don't need to go away to have a relaxing vacation. Just a few moments can do the trick. Try going for a walk outside, or go take in a movie by yourself. Taking time for yourself will help you occupy your free time with more fulfilling activities than eating, therefore not only helping you lose weight but also feeling better about yourself! And who couldn't use that?

GET IN MOTION! Move that body! Joining a gym is a great idea, but only if you'll actually go. If you don't have the time, save the money. You can stay active by riding your bike, doing yard work, cleaning your home, chasing the kids around the house, etc. You may also consider buying an exercise video or workout machine. Any increased physical activity, of any kind, is better than none!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROGRAM FOR YOU! Not every weight-loss program will work for everyone; we are all different. You know what you will most likely have the best chance of following through with. If you have a sweet tooth, you know that limiting carbs would probably not work for you! Some people succeed best with the "point system," while others would rather try a "low carb" plan if they crave heartier meals! Choose a program that you can stick with.

GET A CHECK UP! Getting regularly checked by your physician and keeping your health up is so important. Avoiding smoking or drinking is ideal, and ridding your body of excess calorie intake, getting enough sleep, and taking a multi-vitamin will shape up your insides and help you feel overall healthier and more energetic.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HABITS! Starting with baby steps is vital. Don't feel you have "blown it" after one slip-up. Keep your fridge stocked with fresh vegetables and clean out those lurking temptations (you know the ones...cookies, snacks, etc). Pack a decent lunch instead of using a drive-thru. One change is better than none, and will probably lead to more. It is undeniably empowering to be in charge and in complete control of this one aspect of your sometimes seemingly unmanageable life!

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF! You don't need to wait until you've completely fulfilled all your weight loss goals in order to reward yourself! Ofstein asks you to consider, "Isn't getting there most of the battle?" Don't wait to buy yourself a new shirt, buy it now! You deserve to show off the new, transforming you!

THINK POSITIVE! This one is simple. Avoid stress. (Just kidding... that is a very unattainable goal.) However, a new concept can be to "think happy." Laughing, smiling, and thinking good thoughts will make you healthier and help you keep things in perspective. Learn to see the bigger picture and as they say, "don't sweat the small stuff!" Remember the future is limitless, the possibilities endless, and the sky's the limit!

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