New Year resolutions is a term I’m sure all of us have heard before and probably we have said it ourselves. You decide that you’re going to try that new diet you just heard about or go to the gym consistently. It usually lasts for about a month or two, and then we find ourselves falling back into our old habits. The next year rolls around and you tell yourself you’ll stick with it this year just to fall off the bandwagon again. Have you wondered why that is?
Often when we decide on our new year resolution we shoot for the stars. What I mean by that is, instead of starting with small changes to our daily routine we change everything. If your new year resolution is to eat healthier, you should start by making small changes to your diet and be consistent with it. This could be adding more nutrient dense foods or prioritizing veggies into every meal. This is a more realistic approach because restricting yourself from having a piece of chocolate or enjoying your favourite foods because it’s not labeled “healthy” can often lead to bingeing.
For example you say you’re only going to “healthy” foods, then you find yourself at an office lunch on a Wednesday, you brought your salad with you, but they ordered Chinese food which is your favorite. You haven’t had Chinese food for a month because it’s not “healthy”, those urges are too hard to fight so you eat everything you can. You feel guilty about it afterwards and beat yourself up over it. You say to yourself today is a right off, so I’ll just call it a cheat day and get back on track tomorrow.
Listen Linda. No you can have your Chinese food on a Wednesday and all progress is not lost. Have some veggies for dinner, drink lots of water and everything will be okay. It’s all about balance.
Another common new year resolution is going to the gym. Often I hear people say that their goal is to go to the gym five times a week. Great. But does your schedule and your life allow you to do that? We all live a busy life and for some people it’s only realistic for them to get to the gym three times a week. So when they miss two of their five workouts that first week they feel defeated. Then it happens again the following week and eventually they give up because they didn’t set themselves up for success because they set a goal that was unrealistic.
One of my goals is to build on one of my goals from last year, to live a more balanced lifestyle. Old habits of mine would have been to avoid going out to dinner or drinks with friends out of fear of gaining weight or going beyond my calorie limit. This led to me bingeing and chronic restriction. Last year I said enough is enough, I want to treat my body with kindness. So I started adding more protein into every meal. I stayed consistent with it and slowly I added another snack into my day. Proudly I can proudly say that by taking things slow and setting small goals for myself, I eat three meals a day and snacks in between if I feel like it without feeling any guilt.
My point is, consistency is key. You want to set yourself up for success, not for failure. When setting goals for yourself this upcoming year make sure they’re realistic and attainable for you. Start off with setting small goals that will be easy to work into your daily life and once you stay consistent with that add in one more. It will be a snowball effect from there and you will start to see positive results in whatever that may be.