Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping 2017 kicks 2016’s butt!!!
Celebrating the New Year means a fresh start and a time for change. Take the time to reflect back on the good and the bad from 2017. What would you do differently? Reflecting back on the year allows us to make positive changes for the upcoming year, break old habits, and create better goals. And this is the whole reason for setting a New Year’s resolution.
Have you set your New Year’s resolution yet?
Often, we pick a resolution that we never stick to. One month of being really good at going to the gym, balancing our work-home life for a few weeks time, or practicing “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” until that one person comes along…
We all have good intentions, but we tend to over promise. We set an impossible goal and then the second we mess up, we drop it. This year, pick something realistic and attainable. Once you pick a resolution, come up with a plan to achieve this goal. Just saying “I’m going to lose 10 lbs a month” but having no diet or exercise plan is not going to work (and is pretty unrealistic).
New Year’s Resolutions That Work
I’m going to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week.
- This sets a specific goal that is attainable, 30 minutes is doable for almost anyone! It also allows for 2 days a week where you don’t have to be disciplined with your exercise. As the year goes on, increase your goal.
- First things first, print a blank calendar and schedule the workouts! Build it around your work and home life and decide in advance where these workouts will occur and what they will entail. If you just play it by ear for when you have free time, you will never find that free time.
I will have a sit-down family dinner at least (3) nights per week.
- This is a more detailed resolution than “spending more quality time with the family”. You can replace this with any activity you want, dinner works well because we all do it, everyday!
- Chose a number of days per week that is realistic for you.
- Next, set some ground rules. My advice, say no electronics during the dinner. Everyone puts their phones in silence and for 30 – 60 minutes you sit down with your family and talk about life.
I am going to eat at least one serving of fruits and vegetables with each meal.
- This requires meal prep so be prepared with a grocery list each week and then portion out some easy snack bags filled with your fruits and veggies. This allows you to grab and go without having to think about it.
I will decrease the number of times I eat fast food to (3) times per week.
- First, honestly think about how many times you eat fast-food. Once you know where you are starting, decrease to what you feel is attainable.
- Planning meals in advanced will really help make this transition easier. Make large freezer-meals ahead of time, buy a crock-pot, and search Pinterest for those 20 minute meals. Being prepared with home food will keep you on track.
I’m going to volunteer my time for one hour each week at ______.
- For those that want a resolution where you volunteer more, set a weekly time goal at a non-profit of your choice.
- Choosing a non-profit that you are passionate about will help motivate you to keep going back. Be clear at sign-up of what you can give time-wise. Don’t over promise.
- Get your family and friends involved, we can all benefit from giving back!
Resolutions to Stay Away From
- No fad diets or diet pills. The commercials are out in force and they will try to sway you. Don’t give in! A healthy lifestyle that you can maintain will create habits you won’t easily give up on.
- Choosing a number on the scale to achieve. While having an achievable weight-loss goal is not an awful idea, fixating on just that number leads to unhealthy habits. You want to achieve a healthy lifestyle, not a goal weight. If just choosing a number on a scale, many people quickly learn they can do extreme calorie cutting, meal skipping, or eliminating carbs to reach that goal. Then the weight comes back and you are quickly back to where you started.
- Saying you are going to be a better person. This just isn’t specific and does not set a clear goal. Decide what makes you a better person and be specific about how you will achieve this. See my 5th example of a good resolution to give you some ideas.
- Eliminate a certain food from your diet. Anything that completely eliminates something you love, will quickly fail. Look back at my 4th example of a good resolution. I didn’t ask you to completely give up fast-food, just decrease it. Yes, it is bad for you. But if that is what you love, complete elimination will only last for a few days to a few weeks before you rebound and likely go crazy on those drive-thrus. Knowing you can have fast-food doesn’t make you feel like it’s forbidden.
- Resolving to do something you hate. If you hate broccoli, don’t vow to eat it everyday. If you hate the gym, don’t join a gym! And if you get a feeling of disgust when you see those marathon runners, don’t vow to run a marathon this year. There are many ways to achieve your goals and picking something you enjoy will help maintain your resolutions.