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2018-01-24 / News

Resolution resolve: How to stay on track

BY DONNA GREGORY BURCH CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Pamela Biasca Losada 
KIM BRUNDAGE Pamela Biasca Losada KIM BRUNDAGE If you were one of the millions of people who set a New Year’s resolution on Jan. 1, chances are pretty good you’ve fallen back into your old habits by now. That gym membership card is steadily getting pushed to the back of your wallet, the cookies are back in your desk drawer and those raw carrot sticks are starting to turn brown in your refrigerator.

So many of us have good intentions when January rolls around, but very few of us – only 8 percent, according to a University of Scranton study – are actually successful at achieving our New Year’s resolutions.

We know we should exercise, eat healthy food and finally get rid of that fat roll sticking out of our jeans. But still, we don’t have the fortitude to get it done.

Why is it so hard to keep these promises to ourselves? The Chesterfield Observer had the chance to interview Pamela Biasca Losada, a local certified health coach who recently spoke on the subject before the Chesterfield Chamber, on why resolutions are so difficult to keep and how we can set health-related goals that are actually achievable.

CO: What is the biggest challenge to keeping New Year’s resolutions?

Losada: The main thing is setting too many expectations, [and] concentrating [on trying to achieve them] in a small timeframe. [People are] not doing much for a long time, and then all of sudden everything needs to change, so it creates this huge overwhelm.

CO: What are some of the other reasons people don’t reach their resolutions?

Losada: Oftentimes resolutions are about what you think you should be doing rather than what you actually want to be doing. We get sidetracked by what other people might say, what we read online, and we think we should do the same. [You need to ask yourself] why would you want to make the change? Think about the why.

The other thing [is] wanting to reach too many goals very quickly and all at once. Any kind of daily habit, it takes a long time to make changes until they become second nature. We need to reduce the amount of goals we want to reach and also give ourselves some realistic time to be able to achieve those goals.

One [question], which is often overlooked, is what are the reasons why you have not reached your goals yet? Is it maybe a stressful job or stressful relationship? Is it just taking on too many things at once? What has actually prevented you in the past from reaching that goal already? What is the reason for feeling resistance? What is causing procrastination?

It doesn’t really matter if the goal is great and achievable, and you have all the steps figured out, but if you don’t know why you’re resistant in the first place, you won’t be successful. That’s one of the biggest pieces to look at.

Another one that’s very important is timing. Reaching health goals is not related to a specific time or occasion of the year. Often I hear people [say they] have a wedding to attend, or maybe they are the bride; there’s something they want to get in shape for, and that’s the only reason [they are setting a specific goal].

We have 365 days in a year, so why do we need to focus on one particular day, on one particular month, when we can actually start any day improving our health one step at a time?

CO: What is your best advice for setting more attainable goals?

Losada: The main thing is to [break goals up] into smaller steps … and having an accountability partner. When you set goals, they need to be smart goals. They need to be specific, measurable [and] something that can be attained.

CO: Let’s break that advice down. Let’s say someone has a typical goal of wanting to lose 40 pounds. How do you make that goal more manageable?

Losada: For weight loss, there’s so many areas you need to look at …. Obviously there needs to be some food and beverage intake changes. There needs to be some movement involved. There needs to be some emotional behind-the-scenes work. How is this affecting you and the vision you have of yourself? What are the benefits? Why do you want to lose weight? What feelings are attached to that? What can you do for dealing with challenges? What can you do if you have a bad day? It’s figuring all of those areas out and what they entail, and then doing one step at a time – not all at once.

CO: Instead of just setting a resolution, it sounds like you really need to devise a step-by-step plan, right?

Losada: Writing it down is definitely something people need to do. You [put] the goal at the top of the page, and then break it down, one step at a time, and definitely a timeline is important. 

CO: What does a health coach do, and how are they helpful in reaching health-related goals?

Losada: There are different kinds of health coaches from different backgrounds, and they help their clients in different ways. Primarily my focus is to be not just an accountability partner, but my role is to be a trusted guide that allows my clients to break through the blocks they may have in achieving the goals they have for their health, but also allow them to figure out exactly what they need to be doing to achieve those goals. There’s no judgment; there’s no negative critiques. It’s just a place to feel supported, especially for those who have tried other things that have not worked long term or not at all.

CO: If people have the financial resources, there are coaches to help them through this process. What does a health coach do, and how are they helpful in reaching health-related goals?

Losada: There are different kinds of health coaches from different backgrounds, and they help their clients in different ways. Primarily my focus is to be not just an accountability partner, but my role is to be a trusted guide that allows my clients to break through the blocks they may have in achieving the goals they have for their health, but also allow them to figure out exactly what they need to be doing to achieve those goals. There’s no judgment; there’s no negative critiques. It’s just a place to feel supported, especially for those who have tried other things that have not worked long term or not at all.

CO: Any final thoughts?

Losada: The whole concept of health needs to be at the forefront of our priorities. You know people do New Year’s resolutions all the time, and there’s a very small percentage of people who make it past February. The reality is there are very few people who are successful on their own for all the reasons I shared.

But the main thing is realizing this is not about resolutions; it’s about putting self-care and health as a priority every day because health is our most important asset, and everything depends on our health. It’s always a journey to get there. 

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