4 Ways to Keep New Year’s ResolutionsThe Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.
It’s 2017, and you’ve probably made plans to change for the better. Perhaps you composed a long list of self-improvements for the coming 12 months, or maybe you have a single goal in mind. Here are four strategies to help you keep your new year’s resolutions.
Don’t Bite Off More than You Can Chew
You’re eager to get going on a makeover, but you may need to curb your enthusiasm. We are creatures of habit, and old habits die hard. Trying to change too many behaviors at once, or making them unrealistic, such as going to the gym five days a week when you haven’t exercised in months, or quitting chocolate cold turkey, can backfire.
Change requires mental and physical energy, and you only have so much of that to go around! Taking on too many goals at the same time or even tackling one very difficult lifestyle change can be so taxing that you give up on your resolutions, and end up feeling like you’ll never improve.
Change is a process, not an event. If you do slip up, or even give up for a while, remember that any effort you make in the right direction is never wasted.
Do Better Every Day
You can get to work on your goals right away. Don’t wait for a Monday to start making nutritious food choices for weight loss. It’s possible to start eating better at any time of the day, or day of the week.
You can instantly improve breakfast when you top a whole grain bagel or toast with Hood Low Fat Cottage Cheese instead of cream cheese or margarine; you’ll get more protein to keep you fuller for longer, and less fat. Whip up a batch of Spinach, Egg and Cheese Cups for a convenient breakfast or snack instead of grabbing a breakfast sandwich or sugary muffin on the run, and save on cash, as well as calories.
Experts who study behavior change say that a positive attitude about your goals is more likely to help you change in the long run. For example, when you think of new year’s resolutions as punishment, it’s harder to stick with them.
Making just one positive change, such as eating a balanced breakfast or walking for 20 minutes on your lunch break, can make you feel positive about your efforts, and increase the likelihood that you’ll make additional good choices.
Set Yourself Up for Success
It’s good to have realistic goals, and even better to have plans that make it easier to keep your new year’s resolutions.
If you’re trying to have more family dinners but time is a constraint, choose easy, good-for-you recipes that are ready in minutes, such as Inside Out Lasagna, Nacho Pizza, and Loaded Baked Sweet Potato.
When you’re having trouble staying motivated to exercise, seek out exercise buddies who enjoy the same type of physical activity. Working out together is fun, and you get to spend time with people you like who will cheer you on when you’re enthusiasm starts to fade!