According to various reports, New Year’s resolutions are made by about 40-50% of Americans with goals to lose weight leading the resolution pack. But, for many of us, New Year’s resolutions are so last week. According to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of resolutions are ditched by February.
The problem with many resolutions is the ‘all or nothing’ mentality, rigid rules and unrealistic expectations that come along with them. Does “I’m never eating sugar again,” or “I’ll only eat before seven o’clock” sound familiar? Goals that take leaps rather than baby steps can simply be a recipe for disaster.
That’s why we like to keep it real – in regards to the food we eat, our diet advice and our resolutions. So, this year and every year, let’s shift our resolve from restrictive dieting to re-establishing sustainable eating habits that keep us feeling happier, healthier and more balanced well into the next holiday season. How’s that for motivation?
Here are a few guidelines that will help steer you on the path of resolution bliss:
- Don’t ban resolutions altogether. Instead, embrace the power of setting positive, achievable goals. Write them down and share them with your family or friends to help keep you accountable.
- Make your resolutions achievable. There’s simply no need to make a complete eating overhaul. Take an inventory of where you’re at, and mindfully set your goals accordingly. If added sugar is a staple in your diet, you may have room to cut back. You could start out slowly by substituting a bowl of berries for dessert one day a week. Remind yourself that slow and steady truly does win the race.
- Keep the glass half-full. Eating well is so much more about what you can eat, than what you can’t. Rather than banishing certain foods from your diet altogether, aim to add in more of the good stuff, like fruits, veggies, whole grains and good-quality protein. Use this as the foundation of your resolution setting.
- Find a teammate. Each and every one of us performs better with our own cheerleaders on the sidelines encouraging us and holding us accountable. “Men and women are more likely to make a positive health behavior change if their partner does too,” according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Keep on chugging along. If you fall off the bandwagon, don’t hesitate to jump back on. Setbacks are normal and part of the process. This year, vow that you’ll be kinder to yourself and find value in the journey. It was estimated that 5% of successful “resolution keepers” made at least one slip, with an average number of 14 slips over the course of two years, according to a study of 200 New Year’s resolvers.