HAWC ready to help Robins reach goals, resolutions

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs
Robins' military and civilian airmen don't have to conquer New Year's resolutions alone.

The Health and Wellness Center's classes and programs can help.

"We often start the New Year with resolutions to achieve balance in our lives by paying more attention to areas we may have neglected in the last few busy months and years," Stuart Bapties, HAWC director, said.  

Bapties said whether the goal is weight loss or kicking a bad habit, having a plan is a must.

"We're going to supply you with the tools, information and help you to formulate and develop a plan that is your plan," he said. "Those who formulate and follow a plan are usually successful long term and those that do not will be making the same resolution year after year until they formulate and work their plan."

Succeeding requires changing one's perspective on resolutions, Bapties said.

"Instead of making a vague list of what you want to change, ask yourself these simple questions, start by specifically defining what it is you plan to accomplish this year," he said. "Be concise. Keep it simple."

Bapties said a resolution to live a healthier lifestyle might be made more specific by making the resolution to eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less added sugar.

Similarly, a weight-loss goal might be more likely to be attained by making the resolution measurable, like resolving to lose a specific amount of weight.

Defining what one wants to achieve helps in crafting a plan, Bapties said.

"Often times, physical changes to our lives have an internal representation that we aren't even aware we are striving for," he said. "This is the reason why some people vow to lose 15 pounds but once they do, they still feel defeated and depressed. If you really investigate why you want to accomplish your goal, you'll find a bit more about what you really wish to accomplish."

Bapties said discovering what drives the desire to change can provide motivation.

"It helps keep you going when times get hard and you want to quit before reaching your goal. It's also important to make sure this is a goal that is important to you rather than for external reasons; long term change is difficult when doing it for external rather than internal reasons." 

Researching goals in order to learn how to best attain them also helps.

Learning foods to eliminate and ones to increase in one's diet can help with weight loss, Bapties said.

Secondly, telling others about resolutions will establish accountability, he added.

"Accountability is exactly why groups like AA and Weight Watchers are credible and effective," he said. "When you know that you're going to hear it from people when you continue to engage in the old behaviors or if you fail to run the 15 miles a week you promised, you are less likely to bail out on your resolutions."  

Finally, creating a reward system gives incentive for progress.

"Were you successful shedding a couple of pounds this week?" Bapties said. "Treat yourself to a movie or buy a new pair of pants that fit your ever shrinking body. Accomplishing the goals you set produces dopamine, the pleasure chemical in our brain."

Dopamine encourages behavior and activates parts of the brain that make people eager to pursue new challenges.

For more information, call the HAWC at 478-327-8480.