Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 30, 2013

Take action and get results

Barbra Crumpacker
Associated Press

— This time of year just seems to bring about the urge to try something new or go at life differently.  It is a time to reflect on what we would like to change, need to change, should change or maybe even not change.

Hopefully health is a priority and making wellness a goal is at the top of the list for most of us.  No matter what we already do to stay in shape emotionally and physically, there is certainly somewhere we can improve.

Start your year off with a bang by asking this question — what is the biggest problem area I am willing to work on? No point in listing mountain climbing if you have absolutely no desire to head up the mountain.

In the same light, just making a goal to eat better is most likely not going to produce the desired results. Holding ourselves accountable with measurable goals is a better bet to reaching health and wellness improvements. So what to do and where to start?

Get down to the nitty gritty and figure out your specific, measurable goals. Take baby steps or giant leaps depending on where you are and what you are willing to do.

The point is to do something today that brings you closer to your goal of good health, whatever that may be. Action equals results. Setting goals is continuous process. As dietary habits improve your wellness goals will evolve.

 For instance, say you want to add one meatless day per week.  This is just one strategy to try to incorporate more plant based foods in the diet. It may just make the world of food look a little different.

Perhaps you will try a new recipe or even be tempted to pick up a new fruit or vegetable in the produce aisle. It is good to step out of our box.

However, if going meatless for a day each week is not for you but improving health is, there are always other options — lots of them — to choose from. Look at where you are and where you want to go and for what steps you are willing to say yes. Take a step today towards good eats that boost health.

Need ideas?  Read on and see what fits the bill for you.  Spend time with people who support and encourage you.  Get a workout buddy if that will make it easier to get out of bed on those cold mornings because you know someone is counting on you to exercise with them.

Be choosy about what you stock in your pantry and refrigerator. Bring in more nutritious foods than junk, keep fruit accessible and keep veggies at the forefront.

When choosing restaurants look for those that offer healthy options and avoid buffets because all you can eat is just too tempting. Enter a 5k to motivate you during your daily run.

 Get more sleep each night.  Reduce stress, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, don’t skip meals, eat dinner as a family, and play together as a family. Making a long list is easy, but find what you need and desire and get specific.

 In order to reach your goals, you have to be willing to give something up.  In weight loss, it may mean no more chocolate candy bars for breakfast, or turning off the TV to get in your 30 minutes of exercise.

But the farther down the course you get, the less those sacrifices feel like sacrifices.  There is not magic pill, no perfect diet, no one food that will guarantee good health or weight maintenance.

What is required for change is your investment in yourself.  It takes time, energy, effort, knowledge and sometimes money to reach goals and stay the course.  Remember that life is a marathon not a sprint.  Begin any endeavor with realistic goals.  Don’t chase perfection, because it doesn’t exist.

Maintain confidence and momentum by focusing on progress, not any magic number or pant size.  Learn from setbacks, focus on progress, invest in yourself and keep taking baby steps towards your goals for 2014.


Visit registered dietitian Crumpacker at or contact her at