People are often very motivated at the beginning of a new year: we feel energized, full of new ideas and aspirations. It just feels like the right time for a change. Sometimes, New Year's resolutions tend to be a bit ambitious or unrealistic. For example, it's unlikely to exercise 6 times a week when it’s been difficult to achieve a 3-times per week routine. The same applies to healthy eating: if you've ever tried to give up sweets completely, you know how hard that can be.
How to set realistic goals
This doesn't mean that new year's resolutions are useless, but it's important to keep them realistic. Regular movement and balanced nutrition are essential parts of lymphedema and lipedema treatment. A healthy lifestyle can significantly impact your overall well-being and the signs and symptoms of lymphoedema and lipoedema. Here is what you can do if you want to set goals for the new year:
- Write your goals down: the act of writing can make it easier to commit to something
- Be realistic: choose goals that are compatible with your everyday life
- Be specific: "I want to exercise 4 times a week" is more precise than "I want to exercise more often"
- Start with one goal: setting too many goals can be overwhelming and is a recipe for failure
- Connect with others: meet with a friend every week to cook a healthy meal or exercise together, making it easier to stick with your goals
Be open to changes
As time goes on, our goals might also change. Sometimes, we don't achieve what we initially planned, or our progress didn’t go as expected. However, that should not discourage you. Every small step contributes to success.
Want to know more about the role of exercise in managing lymphoedema and lipoedema? Click here to read more about training, nutrition and weight management.
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Claudia Lymphoedema patient