This Year I Resolve To… Make My Healthy Eating and Exercise Resolutions Last

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
Clinical Nutrition Manager

It’s that time of year again. Happy New Year! For many, it is time to implement those much thought about changes. Unfortunately, the resolutions that get started with enthusiasm on January 2nd are a faint memory a few weeks later.

What went wrong? Maybe it is not really the right time for you to implement change or maybe your action plan does not fit into your busy work and home life. Don’t give up! Ask yourself what you can do and try again.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently shared the following tips for setting realistic and achievable goals. Use them to set resolutions you can keep!
• Start by assessing your food choices and lifestyle. Keep track of what you eat and drink so you can identify behaviors you would like to change.
• Break big goals into smaller, more specific goals. Include a list of realistic changes in your daily routine to achieve these specific goals. Divide big and vague goals like “I will eat better” into smaller, more specific goals like “I will eat one more piece of fruit per day.”
• Make sure the goals you set are measurable and provide answers to “How much?” or “How many?” so you can easily review and track your progress.
• Be patient if you don’t see a huge difference right away. Real change takes time, commitment and encouragement.
• Decide on a starting and ending point to realistically achieve your goals. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time so you are not discouraged if you haven’t met your goals.
• Evaluate your progress every week or two, and update your plan based upon your current progress or circumstances.
• Seek help from a qualified health professional. A registered dietitian is your best source of reliable and up-to-date food and nutrition information.
• Reward yourself. Change is hard work and you deserve a pat on the back. In the end, feeling good and enjoying the best possible health will always be your best reward.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Renovate Your New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved 01-04-2012

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