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Set new goals for your health

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by Emily Wolff/Lincoln Trail Health Dept.

It’s that time of year again. You know how it goes — the first two months of the year everyone is trying to lose weight and make new goals for themselves.  

It’s that time of the year when gyms are packed at all hours and everyone is trying a new fad diet.

Now, let’s fast-forward to April or May. Are you still maintaining your goals or did life get too hectic? If you have maintained your goals and are working toward a healthier lifestyle, pat yourself on the back.  

Now, for the majority of us, who are overwhelmed with work, kids, family, sports, or everything else that life has to offer, there is still hope.

One of the best lessons I have learned in life is the importance of taking small steps to achieve larger goals. Now, I know it sounds easier said than done but let’s work through it together. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to lose weight or just start eating healthier or start exercising.  Whatever your goal is, commit to making a change and start taking small steps toward achieving it.

Steps like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising for 15 minutes per day are small things that can lead to achieving life-changing goals. Now break down your goals even further and ask yourself how you can achieve those goals.

Drinking more water speaks for itself. Drink more water and less of the other stuff. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a little more difficult because everyone has their own opinions about fruits and vegetables. Some love them and others hate them. If you are one of those people who does not like them, find different ways to prepare them and give them a try. Remember, you are trying to make a change and change takes some effort.

One of the most common New Year resolutions is weight loss. As I mentioned above, one small step to achieving this goal is to begin exercising. There are so many excuses why not to exercise: gyms are expensive, it’s too cold outside, I don’t have time, etc. But it can be done. 

You don’t have to join a gym to exercise. Next time you go to the grocery store, park your car at the back of the parking lot and walk a little further to the store or when you get to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. If neither of those applies to you, walk up and down your stairs at home, take your pet for a walk or walk with your family. Do whatever you can to start moving and burning calories. The good news is that it gets easier with time. 

Once you are able to maintain those simple steps, continue to find new ways to accomplish your goals. Once again, I understand that it is much easier to state your goals than it is to achieve your goals. Let’s not forget that this is life and things happen. Every day is different and everyone has days that they struggle through and life seems overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your New Year resolutions.

Emily Wolff is a Western Kentucky University dietetic intern with Lincoln Trail District Health Department. Nutrition counseling is available at the LaRue County Health Center. To schedule an appointment with the dietitian, call 270-358-3844.