It’s that time of year again! And, according to research, only about 12% of those who make new year resolutions will actually succeed. That seems dauntingly low, even if you are an optimist. So, how can you succeed? Well, if you have a desire to make some changes and you want to be successful at it, read on.

  1. Why do you want to lose weight? Who wants you to lose weight, your mother, spouse, friend, or you? If you have a goal it needs to be your goal, not someone else’s. You also need to know WHY you want to lose weight. How will you feel if you lose weight? What will it accomplish? What is your goal, your true reason for wanting to lose weight? (If you want to rock a bikini, go for it, just know your why.) What are the benefits of staying overweight, of losing weight? What are the cons of staying overweight or of losing weight? If you don’t know why, if you are not passionate about your goal, it won’t happen.You won’t sustain it.
  1. Be patient. You want results right now! If you are overweight, you didn’t get that way in a month. It took a lot longer. No matter how good your diet and exercise routine is, you won’t loose all your weight in 30 days. You need small changes that you can sustain for the rest of your life. (This is a lifestyle change, something you can start now and maintain for life.) Pick one part of your diet, you know you can change. For example, eat vegetables with every meal. And do that everyday for 30 days. Now keep that habit going and add in 1 fruit  every day. Since you are adding, you will naturally drop those things you just don’t have room for, or are no longer craving, like sweets! The trick here is to give to yourself, rather than deprive yourself. “I get to eat vegetables with every meal.”
  1. You’ve got to believe in yourself. If, in the back of your mind, you hear that little voice saying, “we’ve done this sooo many times…you haven’t succeeded yet, what makes you think you will this time?” Then you need to ask it “Who’s voice are you?” and when it pipes back up and gives you a name that is not yours…tell it to “Please be quiet. Thank you, but it’s time for you to leave my mind. You are not helping me. Good bye.” Now go back up to number 1 and figure out who wants you to lose weight you or your mother? And then set yourself up for success. Little, easy to do changes that you can sustain. Once you get the momentum going, you can up the ante!
  1. Stop thinking. Start doing! Stop reading all the weight loss and self help books. Health is easy, illness is what’s hard. Start by making your food choices organic where you can afford it. Check out to get up to date information on which foods are a must have organic and which ones are OK to eat non organic.
    1. Start eating better quality food.
    2. Start by adding those vegetables to each meal and then 1-2 fruits a day.
    3. Then add protein to each meal. It doesn’t need to be meat, it can be nuts, greens, peas, beans…
    4. Reduce your portions.
    5. Plan your meals (all of them, breakfast, lunch, dinner) on Sunday for the week and stick to it.
    6. Purchase only what’s on the menu.
    7. Give yourself a pig out day once a week.
    8. Make it fun and make sure it works with your schedule!
  1. You want to Enjoy the process! If change were so easy, everyone would be doing it. First do you really, really want this? Go back to number 1 and figure out who wants you to lose weight. If you really want it, play and have fun with it. Experiment. Anybody can do an experiment, right? Trial and error. What’s working and what’s not working? In an experiment, you get to change what’s not working. Set up a reward system. Every week you stay on track you get a pass to go skiing, or the movies or buy a new book or whatever you really love doing. Set it up in advance so it’s on the calendar. Every Saturday, after 6 days of meeting your goals, your reward is waiting for you. Your skis are waxed and in the car, the book store is open and expecting you, a new movie is out… Expect that you will succeed and keep your reward in your mind all week.
  1. Stop being so hard on yourself! Really? Would you expect your best friend to be perfect and never have an indulgence? I didn’t think so. You are human and you will screw up! It’s OK. No shame. Acknowledge and look at your experiment and see what went wrong. Then try again. Now, go to the mirror, light on, and look yourself in the eye and. Say, “Hey, you are doing great! I am so proud of you for making the decision to do this. Today you did xyz really well. I love you!” Now, pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug (for 30-45 seconds) and smile. You can have daily rewards too ya know!
  1. Get support! We all need support, no matter what we are doing. Enlist someone to support you; an accountability partner. Someone you can call and whine too and who will not judge you and NOT LET YOU QUIT! Have them send you a daily uplifting quote via text or email. Have them check in on you regularly.
  1. Track your progress. Yep, write it down. Spend a few minutes every evening writing down what you ate and how you moved throughout the day. Write down all the things you did well today. And give yourself kudos for it! Write down how much fun you had too. And if there was no fun, then make fun a priority tomorrow.
  1. Now, the most important part of succeeding is getting to the root of why you are overweight in the first place. Go back to number 1 and determine who wants you to lose weight. And then…you need to look at your behaviors. Why are you overweight? Do you eat when stressed? If you are upset, do you go to food? When and where did this behavior start? How old were you? What was going on in your life that precipitated the behavior? Is shame involved? The next time you want to eat junk food or have a craving ask yourself “what am I feeling?” Determine the emotion that you are trying to placate. (Food works because it hits the reward centers in the brain, stimulating a dopamine release. But you can get a dopamine release from more than food; exercise, sex, doing something you really enjoy, receiving praise, getting a real hug …). Where in your body do you feel that emotion? Once you know the emotion and its location, ask yourself what precipitated the emotion? What happened today that made me feel inadequate, sad, lonely, etc? Once you get in touch with the feeling and the location, hold it, experience the emotion and tell your inner child “I feel your pain, I hear your need to be appreciated, held, connected” whatever it is you need…once you give your emotional body the attention and love it needs, the feeling and the need to eat will go away. You can devise ways to support yourself when the feelings overcome you. But you have to recognize the feelings first, give them voice and then they will inform you, rather than control you. You can do this!

When you really get to the root of why you are overweight, you then have the power to change and be successful. And this is true with any behavior change you want to make. First determine who wants to make the change and if its not you, pick something you want to change! Knowing the real why behind the change you want to make is also important. And then, really getting in touch with your inner child to help her/him deal with the underlying emotions that created the behavior in the first place. This is how you can create real change in your life!

All the other tips just help keep you on the path.

I wish you the best and I know you can do it! But, if want help if your resolution, please contact me. I offer a free 30 minute consult!

Bronwyn Radcliffe is a life, health and wellness coach in SW Colorado. She coaches online, holds transformational retreats, and offers online classes. Learn more: