Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

January 20, 2014

AMEEN: Taking charge to lose

With each new year comes the start of new year resolutions. Chances are, you’ve been thinking about what you will choose to improve for 2014 and how you plan to do it. For many people, focusing on health and healthier habits is a good place to start. We thought we would “weigh in” with information that is good for your goals and good for you, including three secrets to boost your willpower

Nearly every adult in the United States resolved to change some behavior in 2012, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. (I’m sure this statistic did not waver much for 2013 either.) However, people consistently reported that a lack of willpower was the top reason they fell short of losing weight, saving more money, exercising, or making whatever other lifestyle change they resolved to achieve.

What’s the secret to willpower? Here are three secrets that may be of help:

Avoid situations where you will be tempted. If you’re likely to give in to treats near the office coffee station, take your break somewhere else.

Plan ahead. If you want to exercise after work, schedule a specific time to do that instead of telling yourself you’ll do it sometime that night. Put that specific time in your calendar.

Try not to take on too much at once. Research shows that using willpower in one area may drain self-control in other areas of your life where you will need willpower soon. Focus on one goal, strengthen your willpower to achieve it, and then take on more goals.

Slimming down doesn’t have to involve big steps.

If you want to lose weight, don’t make drastic changes all at once – otherwise, you may be more likely to give up on your goals. Aiming for a 1-to-2 pound weekly weight loss is sensible and realistic.

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