Strategies for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
We swear off pizza, ditch the cookies and vow to exercise every day. But research shows that this is the time of year when we start backsliding on our resolutions. In fact according to polling, more than 20% of us aim to lose weight and eat better in 2017, but less than 10 percent actually succeed. Here are 5 practical strategies to help you keep your resolutions and reach your goals.
Stay motivated by setting and accomplishing weekly or even daily goals. Have one less cup of coffee, go an extra half mile on the treadmill or add an extra serving of fruit to your daily diet. Establish some foundational habits you can build on as time goes by.
Dramatic changes almost never last, and giving up on foods you absolutely love typically just breeds resentment. Allow yourself to indulge in a not-so healthy food or beverage from time to time – not depriving yourself completely will set the stage for long-term success.
Have a plan for when things start to slip. If you never made it to the gym, do some sit ups and push-ups at home. Forgot to pack a healthy lunch? Check an online menu ahead of grabbing something to-go to make a comparable choice. Instead of beating yourself up about things not going as planned, get over it and move on. No one is perfect, especially when it comes to eating.
Having someone hold you accountable for your actions can have a big impact. Team up with a friend or join a group class for exercise, and trade nutrition goals with someone so you can both stay on point. If you need help getting started, a few sessions with a registered dietitian is a very worthwhile investment (some are even covered by insurance). You can find one near you at EatRight.org
It’s important to celebrate your health and wellness accomplishments, but cupcakes probably aren’t the best prize. When you reach certain milestones on your quest for better health, reward yourself with calorie-free incentives such as a massage, new running shoes or some music for your exercise play list.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc. , which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.