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It takes a system, not just a goal

Are you working hard toward your health goals or are you stuck in a state of “where do I start?”

In coaching thousands of clients over the years, almost all come to me saying “I know what to do, but I just don’t do it.” This is familiar territory for most of us. We know we need vegetables to thrive, we know we need less sugar, we know exercise and sleep would do us well ... but we just don’t make it a habit.

The problem is that just “knowing what to do” or having a health goal, doesn’t mean you’ll reach that goal. Instead, what tends to happen is that you feel the guilt, shame and embarrassment when you reach for the delicious ice cream instead of focusing more on your health than your taste buds.

To move you forward toward your goal, having a system is the solution. In his fantastic book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear explains in detail that the difference between goals and systems is that goals are the results you want to achieve, while systems are about the process that leads to those results. He further explains that goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. This might put this into perspective for you: Winners and losers have the same goal, but their system is what makes the difference in the end results.

In the world of dieting, there is a massive fixation on the goal to lose weight. It drives everything we think and do. The relationship that dieters have with food is so tainted that it creates confusion about what is best for the body. It’s the relationship with your body, your mind and food that suffer when you focus solely on the weight loss goal.

Let’s end the madness!

Healthy eating requires a system to ensure long-term success. Simply focusing on your weight loss goals isn’t enough. The key is to develop healthy habits that feel good and are sustainable. Sustainable nutrition means finding a system that works for your lifestyle, medical history and health goals. A good system should challenge you to make healthier choices while feeling freeing at the same time. Think of it as more than a simple weight loss goal, it’s a plan that will reduce your aches, pains, digestive discomforts, low energy dips and terrible sleep so you can feel amazing! How do I know? Because I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Consistency is more important than perfection, as small daily achievements can build into significant progress over time. Partner with a friend, dietitian, or health coach to help you create a personalized system that works for you. By taking one step at a time, you can build amazing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Stop the diet madness of focusing only on losing weight as this doesn’t ensure true health ... yup I said it. Take your lifestyle, medical history and health goals and create a plan with a daily system that allows you to work toward your goal while also creating enjoyment each day of the journey. Begin this week by focusing on one baby step at a time and build on that step each week. What’s one action you can take this week to take a small step down your unique path to health and wellness? This one thing – that is where you start in creating a daily system to better health.

Fran Sutherlin, RD, MS is a local registered dietitian, specializing in using digestive wellness to prevent or manage chronic disease. She has a master’s degree in nutrition, is a personal health coach, speaker, and owner of Sustainable Nutrition. She can be reached at 444-2122 or fran@fransutherlin.com.