We all set New Year’s resolutions and most of us have at least one health related goal.  This year give yourself a leg up by making your resolution an achievable one.

  1. Put some thought in to it. What is really important to you? Try to narrow it down to a few things you are really motivated about. We all tend to just give up if there are too many resolutions because it feels like you’ve failed if you don’t meet all of them and even the best multi-tasker will have trouble keeping track of 5 different plans at once!
  2. Be specific and have a plan. Don’t just say I’m going to lose weight this year, or I’m going to be healthier this year. If it’s too general it means you don’t have a plan. What is your goal weight? What parts of your diet can you change? Specific habit resolutions are always more achievable because you can see and feel your success which motivates you to keep going.  Try something like I will eat fruits and vegetables with every meal and cut out soda. Or I will eat breakfast every day and stop snacking at night. I will lose 10 pounds by choosing mostly low GI foods and going to an exercise class 3 times a week. Another good one- I will cut out trans fats by reading labels and learning what foods they may be in.
  3. Make it real. I tell all my clients to share their plan, goals, and successes with someone. Call your mom, tell your spouse, share it with friends. Try writing it down with all the specifics and keeping it in a drawer you go in to frequently. Set reminders in your calendar or phone to pop up every month with your next step. Accountability is the mother of all motivators. For some reason it’s just easier to stay on track if it’s not just a though in your head.
  4. Be flexible. Don’t beat yourself up because you had one indulgent dinner with a friend or couldn’t stick to your exercise plan because you were sick. Stuck in bed after surgery- sign up for an exercise class that starts in a few weeks, do arm circles, accept that all is not lost. Downed a tub of ice cream after a breakup- call a friend to talk it out and remind yourself that all your hard work isn’t for nothing because of a few mistakes.  Setbacks are temporary and happen to everyone. Being able to modify your goals and plan accordingly is what separates the resolution achievers apart from the resolution setters.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year!