The official definition for “resolution” is, “A firm decision to do or not to do something.” Quite often, those who desire to become healthier in the new year, vow to give up a particular nutritional vice and incorporate more exercise. On the surface, this may seem like a noteworthy strategy with the intention of making healthier choices. However, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is not a just resolution, but a process that will include both progress and setbacks throughout the year. Here are some tips to help your new year’s aspiration become more successful:
1. Identify who you want to be.
Usually new year’s resolutions are filled with “to do” tasks. A more effective approach can be to define who you want to be. Clarifying your purpose or reason for being can positively influence the choices you make that affect your health. For example, instead of vowing to lose 20 lbs., reframe your focus onbecoming a more positive role model for your kids or a healthier mate for your significant other. Chere Bork, MS, RDN summarizes it best, “The secret is to have enough time and energy to say ‘yes’ to who you want to be and ‘no’ to the things trying to get on your to-do list that don’t fit your be list.” Following Bork’s advice can help prevent busyness, which usually derails good intentions.
2. Embrace imperfections.
Nothing can thwart a new year’s goal faster than expecting perfection. Acknowledge there will be times when your choices don’t align with who you want to be. Rather than degrading yourself with shaming thoughts after “falling short”, remove judgement and view each setback as a helpful learning experience. Get curious about what your triggers are. Examples could include: having an “all or nothing” mentality, lack of self-care, sleep deprivation, always saying “yes” to others, becoming overly hungry, etc.
3. Appreciate who you are right now.
It can be easy to slip into the mindset that attaining a certain weight, nutritional status, race time, etc. will provide lasting happiness, but this is not the case. Don’t defer your happiness until you achieve a goal or become an improved version of yourself. Instead, appreciate who you are right now! Those who have respect for themselves are more likely to follow through with healthier choices.
4. Implement realistic nutrition.
Expecting to eat “perfectly” will not see January 3rd! Instead of creating a set of rigid diet rules to follow, come up with a realistic nutrition game plan that includes foods that “agree” with your body, when you will grocery shop, and simple-to-prepare recipes.
Here’s to a healthy, happy 2015!