What’s a Good Resolution (part two)

Are you going to make a resolution?

Did you make a good resolution?

Have you made a resolution for 2013?  If you read What’s a Good Resolution (part one) you know that setting smaller, achievable goals is the best way to turn your commitment into reality.  Another factor that will help you to reach your weight loss or health goals is accountability.

Why Does Accountability Matter?

We are more likely to be on our best behavior if we are being watched.  Many critics say that this is why reality show dieters lose weight successfully and then fail to keep it off when the cameras go away.  We are also more likely to stick to a diet or exercise program if we get gentle reminders from the people around us about why we set the goal in the first place.  Some studies have even shown that email, text or social media messages can provide that benefit for dieters who need to lose weight.

Set Up Your Own Support System

So how do you become accountable for your weight loss decisions?  Once you set a goal, let people know.  Set up a support system of people who will remind you of your goal and why it matters to your health and well being.   Consider some of these important people when you set up your circle of support.

  • Supportive spouse.  Your spouse is most likely to witness your diet and exercise choices during the day.  So he or she is probably in the best position to offer gentle reminders.  But when you enlist their help, be specific about ways in which they should and should not offer support.
  • Coworkers, neighbors, friends.  There are probably people in your social network who have made similar resolutions for 2013. Why not connect with a few of them and commit to keeping each other on track?  You can even set up healthy recipe swaps or lunch-time exercise sessions.
  • Your health care provider.  Meet with your doctor before starting your diet and exercise program and use that session to set a reasonable weight loss goal.  Your doctor may be able to provide you with your BMI and a list of ways in which weight loss can improve your health.  Then when you go in for a follow up visit, get an updated BMI and find out if your health status has changed due to changes in your diet or physical activity level.
  • North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss.  Sign up to get the weight loss blog delivered directly to you, “like” the North Memorial Facebook page and follow me on Twitter to get healthy messages and reminders to help keep your program on track.
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