At the start of the year, many of us re-evaluate our lives and try to find ways to make ourselves better in the new year. Our dietitian on staff, Alexa, has prepared some tips on how you can make smarter changes and resolutions in 2017 and make them stick.
#1: Instead of resolutions, try daily actions
Although resolutions work for some, they are often too broad and overwhelming and can be hard to translate into real action. Small daily actions can lead to something much much bigger. This key is to make sure the goals are specific and measurable, focusing on daily action in the short term.
Here is an example of how to turn a broad resolution into a more specific action:
Resolution: “I will exercise more this year.”
Daily/Weekly Action: “I will schedule at least three workouts into my calendar every week.” or “I will run 3 miles twice per week.” or “I will go to yoga every Saturday morning for the next month.” or “I will sign up for and run a half-marathon this spring.”
Setting a daily action will help to make the overall goal more reachable because you have something specific to focus on. Achieving the original resolution will end up being a side effect of your long-term behavior change.
#2: Instead of a “diet or detox”, focus on cleaning up your meals in a sustainable way.
Keep consumption of fried and processed foods to a minimum and try to fill your plate with a lot of fruit and vegetables. There’s no need to take an extreme approach. Not only will it be unsustainable but it will also set you up to fail. Remember: what works for other might not work for you! Figure out what makes you feel your best, and forget what others are doing.
#3: Make Exercise FUN vs. a chore
Reframe the way you think about exercise, think of it as your “you” time and a time to de-stress yourself instead of framing it as an obligation. The best way to do this is to figure out which exercises are most fun for you! Do you like to dance, bike, or walk? Choose that activity! Think about it, this might be your one hour out of the day that you aren’t constantly checking your phone or thinking about what needs to be done later. Exercise is a great way to recharge your body and mind!
Resolutions and changes at the new year can be a great and healthy way to approach the new year. Work to make changes that are sustainable and right for you. Best of luck and here’s to a healthy 2017!