Easy-to-Follow Resolution Chart: This year, it’s time for a healthy you!

December 9th, 2016   |  By:

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Have you set your New Year’s resolutions yet? Marketing research notes that health and fitness are the most popular New Year’s Resolutions … with weight loss ranking highest, followed by healthier food choices, then getting fit.

Set Realistic Goals, Take Small Steps

Now with hectic holidays over, holiday treats all gone, and a resolve for a new year (and perhaps a “new you”), now’s a great time to take sensible steps to ensure your health and fitness.  To improve your chances of year-long success, establish an action plan that’s realistic, pleasurable, and matched to your own needs and lifestyle:

  • Set realistic goals, not resolutions.  All too often, people set themselves up for failure.  Extreme goals – perhaps to lose 40 pounds by swim suit season – are likely unrealistic for most of us.
  • Break bigger goals into smaller, specific goals.  For example, “eating healthier” and “getting more exercise” are bigger goals.  More specific goals are more realistic: “eating more vegetables” or “walking 30 minutes daily.”
  • Identify small steps (or changes) to action smaller goals.  “Eating a salad with your dinner” or “walking 15 minutes during your lunch break” are small steps to help you achieve your goals.  Choose steps that fit your lifestyle, ability, and willingness. These examples can help you think about your own action steps!

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Bigger, Yet Realistic Goals Smaller, Specific Goals Small, Do-Able Steps
Eat healthier. Eat more vegetables.
  • Eat salad with dinner.
  • Serve pasta primavera-style (with a rainbow of cooked veggies).
  • Build sandwiches with sliced bell pepper, cucumber tomatoes, and other veggies.
  • Layer lasagna noodles with spinach or kale, grated carrots, and summer squash.
  • Pack raw veggies and yogurt dip or hummus in your lunch bag.
  • Top pizza with veggies:  asparagus, broccoli florets, sun-dried tomatoes, other firm vegetables.
  • Try some new vegetables. Tip:  Brussels sprouts have been cited as the “veggie of the 2014 year”!
Give your meals a fiber boost.
  • Prepare pasta dishes with fiber-rich options, such as Dreamfields pasta.
  • Add dry beans and lentils to soups, stews, salads, and pasta dishes.
  • Make sandwiches with whole-grain bread.
  • Switch to brown rice.
  • Start your morning with oatmeal or other whole-grain cereal.
Lose 10 pounds. Lose two pounds this month.
  • Know your calorie needs, so can adjust how much you eat.
  • Keep a food journal to keep tabs on what, when, and how much you eat.
  • Use smaller plates; portion out smaller food amounts.
  • Eat slower to eat less.  Put down your fork between bites.
  • Start your day with breakfast, to avoid the urge to snack at break time.
  • Fill your fridge with raw veggies and fruit for quick, lower-calorie snacks.
  • Refresh your thirst with water instead of soda.

 

Be more physically active Fit in 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Walk for 15 minutes during your lunch or work breaks.
  • Limit TV and computer time.
  • Be active with family and friends, as support to keep active.
  • Enjoy an active hobby such as gardening, dancing, or biking.
  • Keep a physical activity journal to keep tabs on your physical activity.

Now…

How to set up a new years health resolution

  • Take it one step at a time.  Remember that small steps add up – and they’re easier to do.
  • Stick with it.  If you stray from your goals, that’s okay … just start again.  There’s no reason to dump your plan or feel like you’ve failed.
  • Check in.  Every week or so, evaluate your progress.  Adjust your plan if you need to.  Think of new and do-able steps you might take once you’ve mastered others.
  • Recognize your success.  And enjoy how good it feels!

Have a happy, healthy 2017!

Photos source: Pixabay

 


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