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Create Solutions, Not Resolutions

Create Solutions, Not Resolutions

Every year at this time we stress ourselves with resolutions. We feel compelled to “fix” ourselves, but lifestyle solutions can come at any time. If we want to succeed we need to be honest and patient with ourselves. How can we use the newness of the year to achieve those solutions?

Focus on the solution, not the problem. Understand what you want to solve. Break the issue into small, daily, manageable steps. Look at what you can do today rather than “I have to lose 30 lbs.” Ask yourself: “Do I know and acknowledge the steps needed for success?”

For example, I want to stop smoking. What’s involved with being successful?

  • How do I ease the urge? Can I carry a jug of water? Packs of gum?
  • How do I help myself do other things when the urge to smoke happens?
  • Have I arranged for support for my endeavor? Have I contacted people who can help me?
  • Am I willing to follow all the steps necessary to succeed?
  • How badly do I really want to stop? Am I being honest with myself?

Or: I want to lose weight. What are the steps to success? Am I honestly committed?

  • Do I know how much weight I want to lose?
  • What am I willing to change to achieve weight loss?
  • Am I willing to change my diet?
  • Am I willing to get daily exercise?
  • Am I willing to drink more water and go to sleep earlier?
  • Am I being honest with myself?

Instead of focusing on the problem (lack of willpower, 30 lbs., etc.), focus strongly on each individual step needed to achieve success.

Avoid kicking yourself. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Stay in the present moment with the simple, specific tasks needed to get the solution you want. By completing one task at a time, you start to solve the issue successfully. You must be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. How long did it take to gain the weight? How long have you been smoking? You cannot make permanent changes quickly. It’s a long term investment that will achieve your goals.

Have a list of small actions you can accomplish:

  • When you want to smoke, chew gum, fill up on water, talk to a supportive friend.
  • Take 10 minutes at lunchtime to walk briskly
  • Prepare your lunch at home so you aren’t tempted to buy processed food when stressed
  • Fill up on fruits and veggies
  • Don’t purchase your temptation foods. See those foods with a new lens - those foods are not your friends.
  • Watch 20 minutes less TV or Facebook, and take a brisk walk instead. Outside you’ll gain fresh air, more oxygen, a better frame of mind and an easing of tension.

If you can be patient with the process, and work with one task at a time toward your goal, seek out support from professionals, friends and family, you can achieve those solutions.

Visit to learn how Valley Health Wellness & Fitness can help you achieve your health goals.

Written by: Deborah K. Inaba, MBA, MS, ACSM-RCEP, Exercise Physiologist, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Fitness Services