It’s a new year and for many people now is the time to establish new goals and resolutions for themselves. Have you struggled to stick to your resolutions in previous years? Do you find that as the weeks pass it becomes harder and harder to stick to the “rules” and “restrictions” you’ve imposed on yourself? Typically, the resolutions people set for themselves are very specific, restrictive, and not very sustainable-lose 20 pounds, cut out ALL sugar, stop eating out. No wonder why so many people also tend to feel a bit more depressed and lethargic during the winter months of January and February! While ambitious, resolving to drastically change eating habits or lose weight can often lead to ineffective and even dangerous ways in which to achieve them. To ensure safe and lasting results, always aim to frame your goals around the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Utilizing these parameters, it becomes easier to establish and maintain the steps to take towards your goals.
To ring in this new decade, rethink resolutions and instead of listing things that should be eliminated think about things that can be added into your overall lifestyle and day to day schedule that aid in achieving your goals. For example:
Instead of stating “I will cut out all sugar” a more appropriate and attainable resolution would be “I will replace my sugar-sweetened snack with fresh fruit and nuts or hummus and whole grain crackers 5 days out of the week”. And instead of putting a quantitative number around weight, re-word your resolution to say “I will manage my weight by incorporating a 30 minute, post-lunch walk 6 days a week”.
This new year, make it your best year yet by establishing resolutions that you feel good about and can practice all year long. Choosing nourishing foods that are balanced in protein, carbohydrates, and fats while including regular physical activity will certainly make for a happy new year!