How can I keep up with my new years resolution?
Many people make New Year’s Resolutions, including myself. I wanted to write this blog about tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions. I think it’s great that people use the New Year to make goals to feel better and healthier. But, for many people, once late February or March comes around, resolutions seem to be forgotten and people are back in the same place where they are left wondering what exactly may have gone wrong. Follow my 6 tips on how to either keep your New Year’s Resolutions or get back on track with them.
Set Specific Goals for your New Years Resolution
Have you ever made the resolutions like this… “In 2017, I am going to get healthy!” or “In 2017, I’m going to lose weight.” or “This year is my time to get in shape.” Those are really awesome goals to set. However, what exactly does “getting healthy mean?” The problem with these types of resolutions is they are just too broad. Try getting more specific. Here are some examples:
- To get healthy, I am going to aim to have at least 2 servings of veggies a day and 1 serving of fruit.
- I am going to do strength training 1x/week at the gym to build muscle
- My dietitian said I should eat breakfast 🙂 I am going to have breakfast at least 3x during the work week.
Make the New Years Resolution Goals Measurable
This tip goes along with number one. It’s really hard to feel like you are accomplishing a goal without being able to measure success. That’s why those broad goals (ie. “I’m going to get healthy”) don’t work. I will give you an example. Let’s say your goal is to meal prep more in 2017. That’s great! But again, what does this mean and how can you measure it? Maybe decide what specific meal you would like to prep and how often. Make a checklist for yourself so you can check in to see if you were able to accomplish it.
Instead of Going From 0-60, Go From 0-10
If you have never set foot inside a gym before, trying to go every day for an hour is like going from 0mph to 65mph on the highway in a Barbie Sports car. (loved those when I was little!). But, you get the point. That’s a really difficult thing to do! “Getting healthy” is a lifestyle change, so it’s totally okay to take baby steps when meeting your New Year’s Resolution goals. Let’s use the exercise example again. If your end goal is to go to the gym/work out more often, take it week by week. Maybe for the month of January, you start by going to the gym (wherever you choose to exercise), 2x/week for 20 minutes. Then in February, try going 3x/week for 30 minutes. Then by March, maybe you can go 4x/week for 30mins…etc. Especially if exercise isn’t something you inherently enjoy, trying to go every day at first may not work for you. You may need to go slow and try various different activities before you find an exercise you will be able to do 4-5x/week for 30-60mins. Give yourself permission to take it slowly. This will help you to be more successful in the long run and feel better about yourself.
Give Yourself Permission to Take Breaks From Your New Years Resolution
Life is going to throw you a few curve balls here and there. To be honest with you, there may be some weeks that you might not be able to keep your resolution, aka weeks that you are on vacation or sick or just all around busier than normal, and that’s okay. You can get back to making steps toward your goals the following day or week. You don’t have to be “on the resolution” or “off the resolution.” It’s possible to modify your resolutions on those busy weeks. Going back to the gym example. If you are feeling sick, it might be a good idea if you take a break for that week until you’re feeling better. If you’re going on vacation, maybe that means exercising less or generally trying to get in some more steps by exploring the area. Also, along the same lines of giving yourself permission to take breaks is that it’s also important to forgive yourself when you “slip up” from your resolution. Take it day by day and try not to worry so much if there are a few weeks where you’re just not hitting your goals. Do the best that you can because every little bit helps when you are making a lifestyle change!
Remember Self Care Goals
Self care and stress management is a huge part of “getting healthy” for the New Year. So, many people are focused on only the physical aspect of “health” and don’t take into account the role stress and sleep plays. I can give you a personal example. I used to come home from work and watch a few episodes of Friends on Netflix. But, I found that the lights from the computer were keeping me up late at night. A side note: I also wanted to read more books because I had always enjoyed reading but fallen off on this over the last few years. So, I made a New Year’s Resolution to “read more.” I decided I would start with one book a month and read for 20 mins before bed. This worked out great! I was able to keep my resolution, take care of my sleep, and relax a little in the evening.
Have Inspiration For When Motivation Lacks
It’s natural that motivation levels will fall off after a few months. Changing a habit is tough! Remember tips 1-5 and see how those will help you. Then, be sure to have a list of some positive reminders that will help you when you’re struggling with keeping those resolutions. I’m talking about memories, quotes, videos, sayings…etc. Anything that makes you feel good about yourself. This will help to kick the motivation back up a little bit so you can continue toward your goals!
Do you need help staying on track with your new years resolutions? We have you covered! Click here to make an appointment with one of our nutrition professionals, or call 301-474-2499.
Blog reviewed and updated December 2019.
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.