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OUR BLOG

How To Follow Through with Your Resolution

How To Follow Through with Your Resolution

By Aubrey Babcock | In Nutrition Tips | on January 30, 2018

So, we’re one full month into the new year. How many of you are going strong with those resolutions? Let me ask a follow-up question, how many of you decided that perhaps you were going to start off 2018 by saying no to ‘the sugar?’ Maybe you participated in ‘Dry January,’ giving both your liver and your body a break from the overindulgence during the holidays? Or even taking it a step further, and trying to detox all the sugar out of your system from eating all of Grandma’s homemade cookies. No matter the reasoning, no matter the resolution, the real contemplation needs to be made over how you can stick with this. Let me even broaden this concept; the below information can be useful when it comes to forming almost any kind of good habit or eliminating a bad one, here is how to follow through with your resolution. 

 

First, you need to know yourself. I found some of Gretchen Rubin’s theory about habit-making to be pretty helpful, so ask yourself what kind of person are you when it comes to expectations? See if you can relate to any of the four categories below and use them as answers for how to follow through with your resolution.

 

Type 1: Upholder – You respond readily to both inner and outer expectations; you like to know what’s expected of you, avoid making mistakes or letting others down, meet deadlines or finish early, feel anxious around breaking rules.

Ex: You declare you will not have sugar this month, so you don’t – because you said you wouldn’t

 

Type 2: Questioner – You meet expectations only if you believe it’s justified; resist anything that lacks a sound purpose, do exhaustive research, follows the thought of ‘what needs to get done today and why’.

Ex: You decide to not have sugar this month, but only after you did some research and learned that eliminating sugar is overall great for your health, promotes better digestion, clearer skin and can help you lose those last couple of pesky pounds

 

Type 3: Obliger – You respond readily to outer expectations but struggle with inner expectations; you’re motivated by external accountability, make time for other people’s priorities at the expense of your own, go great lengths to meet responsibilities.

Ex: You agree to eliminate sugar this month because your office is having a contest, or you have a friend who is doing it too and really needs you to support them, and you, of course, don’t want to let them down

 

Type 4: Rebel – You resist all expectations; you work toward your own goals in your own way, highly value authenticity and self-determination, refuse to do what you’re ‘supposed’ to do or what you’re told to do.

Ex: You decide to not participate in the consumption of sugar because you wanted to see if you could do it

 

So, for whatever your reason, you have made your commitment. Now, how to follow through with your resolution?

Well, let’s talk about one more thing first. Are you an abstainer, or a moderator? Knowing this can help you determine what kind of support you will need along the way. See which of the following you resonate with more [and be honest here, don’t pick the one that you want to be, pick the one that you actually are].

  • Moderators: indulge moderately; do better when avoiding strict rules
    • Ex: You have a bar of chocolate in your pantry, and you can easily consume only one square per day
  • Abstainers: all-or-nothing habits; it’s easier to say no to something once and be done with the whole issue than to go back and forth again and again
    • Ex: You have a bar of chocolate in your pantry, and you cannot consume only one square per day, you can consume the entire bar in one day

Once you’ve decided which one of these you are, you can eliminate some of the decision making that comes down the road. If you know that you are an abstainer, set yourself up for success by knowing in advance what works for you.

 

Ground Rules

  1. Make sure it’s realistic
  • There’s nothing worse than setting a goal and feeling like a failure for not achieving it. To avoid that, take a look at your goal. Does it seem realistic, for you, honestly. If it doesn’t, can you break it down into smaller goals that do actually seem doable?
  1. Don’t play games with yourself
  • Say no one time so that you do not have to continue to say no to every individual thing that follows. If you have said no thank you to sugar for the month, then you are not drinking alcohol, you are not putting sugar in your coffee, you are not eating processed foods, you are not substituting what you would normally eat for fake version that has some other type of sugar in it. Don’t bargain with yourself, or make up if-then rules.
    • Ex: If I eat perfectly today, then tomorrow I can have just a little bit of *insert thing here*       
  1. Make it convenient to be successful
  • Go through your house, car, office, locker – whatever – and get rid of anything that might be tempting or questionable. You don’t necessarily have to throw it out, so give it to a friend or donate it
  • Tell friends/family members/coworkers that you’re going sugar free, so if you are out to eat or at happy hour, it doesn’t have to be a big thing that you need to explain over and over again
  • In this case – meal prep. No matter the degree of sugar free you are going – meal prepping can make life significantly easier; you don’t have to worry about reading labels or being tempted by those ‘forbidden’ foods, there’s less chance of impulsive purchases, and most importantly – when you’re hungry – all you have to do is open the fridge and eat
  1. Implement Safeguards
  • Safeguards are there to help protect us against impulsive decisions by planning in advance.
  • Instead of resisting temptations, try to anticipate and minimize possible temptations that might arise
  • Catch yourself right away if you stumble
    • Ex: If you have a slip-up, instead of dramatizing it, which we know leads to the ‘oh f*** it’ phase, acknowledge what happened and then start over at your very next opportunity. Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t play the pity card of ‘oh but I messed up today, so the whole day is just a waste, I’ll just start over tomorrow…’ we all know this is a cop out
  • Take pleasure and enjoyment in knowing that you put effort into providing yourself with best case scenario, and prepared for worst-case scenarios

 

The statistics show that the odds are not ever in your favor, in fact, they are completely against you. But you now have the knowledge not only about yourself but about how to really tackle your next resolution, goal, whatever! Just because it’s the second month of the year doesn’t mean that you have to wait to try something new, or wait until next year to try something that you may have ‘failed’ at the first time. The best time to do something is right now because your commitment level absolutely starts to decrease as soon as you start putting things off until tomorrow. Lastly, as always, if you are having a hard time getting things started, or you have all these ideas and don’t know where to begin, seek out someone who can help you.

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