More than two weeks in...are you chugging along with your New Year's goals or have you joined the 25% who give up after one week (as studies suggest). Overall, less than half of people who make resolutions stick with them the following six months. But to be honest I'm impressed that even close to half do make it!
There are endless articles about how to deal with New Year's resolutions, so of course I'm adding another. It can't hurt to get as much encouragement and ideas that you can because even if you follow through with just one goal this year, you will be a better person than you were last year.
First I have to plug an article written by my colleague, Lauren Mayer of Decidedly Nutritious, and moi entitled Six ways to keep your New Year's resolutions. Realistic, practical reminders for the long haul!
Then check out favorite resolution reinforcements shared by New England Stop & Shop nutritionist Julie Hersey, MS, RD, LDN:
- Stick to one small and realistic resolution. Example: When trying to cut back on sweets, end meals with a piece of fresh fruit to help tame your cravings. When cutting back on soda intake, switch to flavored seltzer water.
- Build connections to a new habit by stacking with an established habit. Example: If you are working towards drinking more water, have one glass in the morning before brushing your teeth.
- Seek non-food rewards that complement your goals. Buy a new smoothie blender, great-fitting running shoes, a massage session or a colorful reusable water bottle.
- Make a list of distractions to avoid food cravings and binges like brushing your teeth, taking a bath, walking the dog, or calling a friend.
- Boost your breakfast satisfaction with protein-rich foods like eggs, cottage cheese, low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, nut/nut butters or seeds.
- To keep afternoon cravings in check while getting an extra dose of nutrients and healthful fats, keep a pack of pre-portioned nuts or seeds in your purse.
- Pre-plan meals by creating a list of dinner meals that you know your family loves. Balance each menu with a protein, starch and a vegetable (or two).
Remember, you can’t undo a lifetime of unhealthy habits overnight. Keep your goal in mind every day and track your progress. Consider journaling or using an app. Most of all, be patient and flexible with yourself. Resiliency, or the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and change, is key to success!