The Right Time is Now

The Right Time is NOW

by Jenny Cutler, RD

Resolution PictureIt’s that time of year when we are thinking about setting New Year’s Resolutions. Often, those resolutions tend to focus on improving areas of our health & fitness. Whether it’s to eat better, exercise more, lose weight, etc. We set our New Year’s Resolution with the idea of this being the “right time” to get started on our health & fitness goals.

Sometimes we are so focused on the right time to start something, we set ourselves up to never doing anything. “When life slows down, I’ll make time to go to the gym.” “When I lose 10lbs, I’ll make an appointment to see the dietitian.” “After the Holidays, I’ll start to eat better.” Why not start NOW by using my top 4 tips to effectively jumpstart your way toward improving your nutrition & health:

  1. Set the right goals.

Setting a goal to “lose weight” without identifying the specific steps you plan to take to get there doesn’t put you on the path to success. On the flip side, setting strict diet or fitness-related goals can leave you feeling deprived, unhappy, and unmotivated to keep moving forward. Instead, set small, specific, and realistic goals that will give you direction for positive outcomes. For example, decide which days of the week you will exercise, what types of exercise you will do, and schedule it on your calendar. You’ll find this more effective than simply saying “I’m going to start going to the gym more." 

Also, figure out why you are working toward your goal. Go beyond a certain number on the scale or to look good for your upcoming class reunion, really dig to uncover a deeper reason for your goals. For example, is your health getting in the way of being able to play with your children or grandchildren more? Would you like to reduce the number of medications you’re taking? Do you find it difficult to get household chores completed without assistance? These are all reasons to keep your motivation high and to form a sustainable plan toward improving health & losing weight.  

  1. Don’t expect perfection.

It’s hard when you feel you’ve gotten off track or you aren’t seeing the results you wanted, but don’t give up completely. Maybe you overindulged on the weekend being with friends or you missed a few days at the gym because your kids got sick. That’s OK! Life happens. You can regroup and get back on track. Sometimes we need a little motivation to keep moving forward and “falling off the wagon” might be that little push you needed to realize what you truly want.

  1. Learn your lesson.

Reflect on why your past attempts haven’t worked out. Was your goal too big? Maybe you should try setting smaller, less challenging steps toward a larger outcome. For example, if you want to reduce your added sugar intake, totally cutting all added sugar from your diet might be hard to start with. Instead, aim to cut back on how often you find yourself indulging in sugary foods or beverages. If you always enjoy a sweet snack after supper, cut back to every other night and then continue to reduce that until you are enjoying these treats only on occasion. The more you reduce your intake of added sugar, the more you’ll find you don’t miss it or need it at all!  

  1. Use a support system.

Trying to tackle your goals alone may seem doable, but your motivation may fizzle. Having a sense of accountability, encouragement, and source of information might be just what you need to keep moving forward. Take advantage of all that Mettler Center has to offer by working with me, your Registered Dietitian, who will guide you toward improving your nutrition & health; Personal Trainers who will work one-on-one with you to improve your level of fitness; and Group Exercise Classes where you will develop relationships with the friendliest and most encouraging members who will make you look forward to your next class!

Jenny Cutler is a registered dietitian at Mettler Center. Have a nutrition question? Ask the Expert or schedule a FREE 15-minute Meet the RD online or by calling (217) 356-6543.