- Category: Eat Right Featured Articles
by Angela Aladjem RD, LD
“I am going to lose ten pounds.” “I am going to workout more.” “ I am giving up wine.” The new year is upon us, and with that the season of the resolution is here. Year after year, resolutions get criticized, because, let’s face it, by February, almost half of resolutioners have given up. However, a little more than half is still good odds. Apparently, the simple act of making a resolution can help get you started on the path to success. The key is to resolve to do something you can sustain longer than a few weeks, not like a fad diet or a crazy workout plan. Here are some guidelines to follow to make sure you end up still on track in March.
Be realistic - If you have always hated to run, don’t set yourself up for failure by resolving to run 6 daily. Rather, think of an activity that you enjoy doing. Same goes with food goals. If you eat out most days of the week, it is unrealistic to assume you will abstain completely from restaurants. Evaluate what you are willing to do, for example, if you can work out a plan with your spouse to share the meal responsibilities several days a week, commit to cook extra, so you have leftovers for the following days.
Be specific - It means nothing to say you are going to exercise more or lose weight. Give your goal some guts. It is better not to simply state the desired outcome, but be specific about the actions that will get you there. For instance, “I will walk for 45 minutes, 4 days a week.” That tells you exactly what you are resolving to do, and it may just lead to weight loss or a lower blood pressure.
Make it measurable - Take the previous example, walking for 45 minutes, 4 days a week. That statement gives you something you can keep track of throughout the week. It is easy to mark off how many minutes you did it and how many days. You can re-evaluate so you can set new goals throughout the year.
Celebrate your success - If you are tracking your specific actions, you can celebrate keeping up with certain behaviors month to month. Set up a healthy reward system for yourself, for instance, give yourself new workout clothes, or a new book to read.
These are just some tips to set you up for success. Good luck with your goals. I wish you a healthy, happy New Year, Angela.
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