In health and wellness we often strive to do the best we can. But how do we accomplish this?
At the IMW we try to take the human approach that lives in reality and does not set unattainable and difficult to achieve goals. This is important in health and wellness as well as most areas of life.
IMW Health and Wellness Goal #1 – Set healthy realistic goals
Goals are important but to achieve a goal there must be preparation and planning involved if you want to have a good chance to succeed.
For example if you are a student and want to get an A on your midterm exam, you would have a better chance of success if you put aside adequate study time and planned out how to get through and understand the material.
In health and wellness, if you want to change your diet to a lower processed carbohydrate diet, avoiding grains, bread and sugar, it would probably be a good idea not to take a part time job at Dunkin Donuts, don’t you think??
So it is important when planning out your health and wellness objective to take into consideration both what you need to do as well as what you need to avoid.
IMW Health and Wellness Goal #2 – Set yourself up to succeed, not just to try.
Maintaining confidence and motivation that you can achieve your health and wellness goal can be difficult, especially when everywhere you look there are heavily processed carbohydrate laden foods calling your name. I know when I drive by Five Guys Burger and Fries it is hard to ignore those fries calling my name.
Five Guys Fries (FGF): “Yo Doc. We are here, just around the corner. We are so yummy. Don’t you want us?”
DrH: (gripping the wheel tightly to avoid turning in to the Five Guys parking lot) “No No No! I may be crazy and talking to myself in my car, but I am not going in to that parking lot!”
FGF: “But we were just freshly sliced and double fried. We smell so good and the ketchup is waiting….”
DrH: (almost beginning to sweat) “Nope, I am going to be strong!”
FGF: “Well you avoided us this time. But we will get you soon. And when we do, you will really enjoy it!!”
DrH: ” I’m sure I will. But I will enjoy myself more when I stop talking to both myself and imaginary french fries!”
What always gets me past the french fries talking in my head are the short term goals I shoot for each day. The most common short term goal I have is intermittent fasting (IF) where I usually skip breakfast and eat my other two meals within 8 hours of each other. This allows me a 16 hour period of fasting that turns on my body’s natural fat burning mechanism as well as decreases hunger. More on IF at another time.
So how do I maintain my motivation to continue longer term? The main thing I do is not yell at myself or beat myself up if I mess up occasionally.
IMW Health and Wellness Goal #3: If you want to fail every time, just try to be perfect.
No one is perfect. Moving forward in your goal sometimes means taking three steps forward with an occasional one or two steps back. Just keep your eye on your goal even if you falter on occasion.
Now for one of the most important aspects:
IMW Health and Wellness Goal #4: Don’t listen to the government or media for diet and nutrition advice, unless you want to be obese, have high blood pressure, diabetes and an increased risk of heart disease.
There are way too many special interests in the government to ever believe their advice. The media mostly is looking for headlines and sensationalize just about any medical study without truly understanding how or even if the study is valid. As long as the headline sells papers or advertising, so be it.
So let me recap the IMW human approach to health and wellness.
A win in health and wellness does not occur only if you have fully succeeded.
A win in health and wellness is being on the right path and correcting your path as need be to keep your eye on the prize.
Remember the prize is NOT perfection.
The prize is not doing better than your sister, friend or neighbor.
The prize is about moving forward in the proper direction and working on and changing plans as need be.
A change in plans is not a failure.
A change is plans is reality and what it takes to be happy and successful in your health and wellness goals.
To Good Health!
Steven Horvitz, D.O,