By Myra Howard


The definition of a recipe is something that is likely to lead to a particular outcome. Most of the time we relate the word to cooking, but we may also know the term “recipe for success.”

Want to have a nice garden? You have your ingredients of seeds, plants, potting soil, garden tools and then the instructions, when and how to plant them, how to care for them, and if you follow the recipe, you have a beautiful garden when nature’s timer goes off.

Think about it. A lot of things we do can be seen as following a recipe. Get ingredients, follow instructions, and hopefully get the outcome you want.

So let me ask you this: Did you make a New Year’s resolution?

You can find losing weight, exercising, stopping smoking and getting organized on almost all of the top 10 lists. We can make each item the title of our recipe. But in reality, how many people really have the whole recipe on hand?

Sure, you want to lose weight, but how are you going to do it? What is your list of ingredients? Don’t have one? Think about it; that garden without the seeds won’t be much of a garden.

First of all, give your recipe a name, which brings it to life — “The New Me,” or “I Can Do This.” Then list your ingredients. Number one should be a health checkup if you haven’t had one for a while.

Other ingredients in your weight-loss recipe may include meeting with a registered dietitian, a personal trainer or a professional health care counselor, depending on what you want your outcome to be.

An important part of being successful with your resolution is to know your ingredients and how they come together, and make the recipe realistic.

Even more important, you want your recipe to be something that is easy and reasonable, so that you can continue with it beyond the first few weeks of January or February.

If your resolution involves losing weight, there are many different recipes out there. Take those parts that you can incorporate into your life and create a recipe that sounds good enough that you can make it again and again. Is more exercise, or exercise period, in your recipe?

Find something that appeals to you and again, something that fits into your budget and schedule so you can continue on after the first aches and pains have subsided. Even getting that 30-minute walk each day is very beneficial.

Studies show that sharing your recipe with a friend leads to greater success. Keep in mind, things can change throughout the year and recipes can be tweaked to fit a new schedule and to obtain the best results.

Finally, take a moment and look back at last year. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Are you making the same one this year? If so, stop making resolutions and start making recipes.

Here’s to a year filled with successful recipes. Cheers!


Myra Howard is a family nurse practitioner at Buellton Medical Center.