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Resolution Doomed

I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  They can be an excuse to delay something, that will likely better yourself, until a future date.  When January finally arrives you strive to stick to what is often an unsustainable goal.  By the end of February, if you made it that long, you have likely gone back to your pre-resolutions ways.  Why put off something you want to do or change until a certain date.  There is no better time than NOW to eat healthier, exercise more, be more organized, spend more time with friends and family, watch less TV, start reading more, relax more…

That being said, if you still want to wait until January to start a resolution, here a some tips to help you keep yours all year long:

1) Make it achievable.  If your resolution is to lose 30 pounds in 30 days you will likely be setting yourself up for failure… or a trip to the hospital.  Studies has shown that the slower you lose weight the more likely it is to stay off.  Aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.  Consider regular visits to see a dietitian for personalized nutrition advice, encouragement, and accountability.

2) Make it sustainable.  If your resolution is to go to the gym 7 days a week, when you have barely been able to fit in 2 trips per month in the past, you might be over shooting.  It may be more realistic to aim for a trip to the gym 2-3 days per week and incorporate some other activities into your daily routine, ie, taking a walk on your lunch break, parking at the back of the lot, taking the stairs, exercises at your desk, etc.

3) Write it down.  Studies have shown that people who write down their goals, and review them frequently, are more likely to achieve them.

4) Have a plan.  Don’t just say your are going to get organized.  Come up with a series of actions that you need to take and a date that you will complete them by.

5) Never get discouraged.  Sometimes we have to take 1 step back in order to take 2 steps forward.  Every time you have a setback use it as a learning opportunity and find new ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.

6) Don’t be afraid to tell others and ask for their help and encouragement.  Often times it’s easier to be accountable to others than it is ourselves.  By telling others you may also find someone with the same resolution and you can help each other stay on track.

Consider making your New Year’s Resolution this: “To Make Gradual Healthy Changes to My Diet and Lifestyle”  Follow my blog for updates on SMALL and EASY changes you can make that will have a BIG impact on your health.

Image courtesy of by: thawats

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Dina Garcia, RD, LDN
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