Forget New Year Resolutions, it’s time for REVOLUTION by Dr Karly Powell

Forget New Year Resolutions, it’s time for REVOLUTION

Dr. Karly Powell 

February is here, which means we’re one month into our transition into 2015 and all the New Years resolutions that come with it.  Have you kept all the promises you made to yourself?  If not, what’s holding you back from becoming a better you?

According to a 2010 poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, only 16% of adults report being “very successful” at making health-related improvements such as losing weight (20% success), starting a regular exercise program (15%), eating a healthier diet (10%), and reducing stress (7%).  Those numbers are pretty discouraging.

Fortunately, we know that there are certain characteristics and activities that help that 16% reach their goals; the following steps will set you up for success to not only reach your health and wellness goals, but sustain them long term.

1.  Set clear goals and write them down

Repeated studies have shown that people who set goals are far more likely to reach them.  And it’s not enough just to think about them, you need to write them down; putting something on paper that you can come back to later means making a genuine commitment that you can’t talk yourself out of.   Make your goals as specific as possible (including numbers, timelines, etc.) and ideally write down several goals, both short and long term, both easy and more difficult.  Don’t be afraid to write down one or two that seem beyond your reach; aim high so you have the opportunity to really challenge yourself!  Finally, consider including your underlying motivation that is driving this behavior change, like “I’m committing to a healthier diet to set a good example for my kids.”  Recording why this change is worth it will give you a much-needed motivational boost during the tough days.

2.  Start small

If you want to run a marathon, you don’t start off with the whole 26.2 miles. Start with a very achievable goal (run/walk ½ a mile), and build from there.  If you push for huge changes very quickly, you set yourself up for discouragement, frustration, and overwhelm that leads to backslides or just quitting.   Remember that in order to really impact your health, these changes need to last months, years, or a lifetime.  Pushing yourself hard for 3 weeks isn’t going to mean much if it doesn’t last.

Long-term change is the only path to long-term wellness. Why not get started today? 719-651-4383 or

3.  Understand your barriers

What challenges stand in the way of you meeting your goals? Tempting sugary treats in the break room at work?  Not enough time in your day?  Hormone imbalances or other health issues?  Take time to consider what obstacles you might face along your journey and how you plan to tackle them.   When these actually arise along the way, you’ll already have a plan in place to avoid temptation.

4.  Allow yourself some cheat days 

None of us are perfect, and slip-ups are likely to occur.  It’s important that you listen to the needs of your body and mind, and allow yourself some rest when needed. Don’t get discouraged by every small stray in the master plan; instead, revisit your goals, and recommit to doing better tomorrow. If these are happening frequently, it may be time to re-examine your approach and try something new.

5.  Ask for help 

Success is much more likely when we have support.  Find someone to talk to about your process or maybe even join you in the change!   Friends, family, or your naturopathic doctor make great supporters and can mean the difference between meeting your goals and falling short.  Repeated studies show that successful behavioral change involves development of a particular skillset (and willpower is just one small part of this); this skillset is a learned behavior, not inherent. “Psychologists with APA report that, with the right support, individuals can learn how to make lasting lifestyle and behavior changes, regardless of the importance they place on willpower or the influence of stress. With the right guidance, people can build and strengthen the skills they need to make even the toughest lifestyle changes.”

The new year is a great time to recommit to your health. But this year, let’s do things differently.  Let’s say goodbye to the fad diets, to rapid weight loss, to one month of “being good” until you go back to your old habits.  Instead, let’s revolutionize your health, and let’s make it last. If you’re ready to make a change for better health, I can help you create an individualized wellness program that works for your life; I can suggest safe changes that are most likely to bring you successfully to your goals and identify any potential medical barriers that are standing in your way. You won’t believe how easy the change can become when you start to feel better and see yourself getting steadily closer to your goal!

Long-term change is the only path to long-term wellness. Why not get started today? 719-651-4383 or