Make Your Resolutions Work for You
By Lisa Zarny, MS, RD, CD-N, Clinical Nutrition Manager
Happy New Year! The start of a New Year has long been associated with making New Year’s resolutions, something many people dread. Resolutions often include “eat healthier”, “exercise more”, and other vague, generic ways to improve our health in the coming months. The problem with these resolutions is that they’re hard to stick to. According to US News and World Report, 80% of resolutions have failed by the second week of February. These failures can cause self-disappointment, frustration, and remorse, which are certainly not a great way to feel about yourself as a new year begins. So, why do so many resolutions fail? We often set lofty, broad goals for ourselves with no clear-cut way to achieve them. We may tell ourselves we’ll become gym regulars in 2016, but how will that happen? Here are some tips on how to work towards your goals.
Start by setting SMART goals for yourself
- Specific – write down exactly what you want to achieve
- Measurable – if you don’t have a way to measure your progress, how do you know if you are achieving your goals?
- Attainable – keep goals realistic
- Relevant – set goals that are specific to you and areas that you want to work on
- For example, instead of setting a resolution to “eat healthier”, write down a goal of “this month I will include 2 more servings of leafy greens into my meal plan each week”.
- Monitor your resolution, whether it is writing it down each time you eat a serving of leafy greens or crossing off a to-do list.
- Give yourself external accountability. Tell people about your goal. You’ll be more likely to stick to it if you know there’s somebody checking in on you.
- Find a friend – you’ll have more fun if you can bounce ideas off of somebody or plan a walk together.
- Check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website, EatRight.org, for more helpful tips!