4 tips for lasting New Year’s resolutions

You've likely already brainstormed your resolutions for 2017. Whether you want to lose weight, go to the gym, eat more vegetables, or drink less alcohol, the New Year is a great time to kick start healthy habits. Unfortunately, close to 90 percent of all resolutions made January 1st fail, leaving well-intentioned goal-setters right where they started.  With a few simple tips, you can make this year’s resolution last!

Evaluate all aspects of your life
Reflect on your life and make a list of the things you find most important. From relationships, to work, health, and finance, ask yourself if you’re happy with your current situation or what you would want to change about it. This will help you establish what is most important to focus on when setting your goals.

Pick 1 goal, not 5
Be specific, pick one resolution that you can devote all your attention to. Avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on what you find most important.  Losing weight, going to the gym, and eating clean are great goals, but trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming.  Start out by focusing on one goal at a time, then move on the next.

Set SMART goals
If you want your reach your goals, make sure they are SMART; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time based. If you want to lose weight in this coming year, decide how much, and set measurable dates on how much you want to lose by when. Being realistic is key! If you want to lose 20lbs, it might not be realistic, or healthy to do so in one month. Aim for a more reasonable goal of 1-2lbs/week. Set small time goals for yourself to make the task less overwhelming and more reachable.                    

Don’t beat yourself up
You don’t have to be perfect! If you miss a day at the gym, or have a burger for lunch instead of a salad, it’s okay! Mistakes are normal and provide opportunities to learn and grow. Use your slip-ups as motivation to get right back on track, and maybe even kick things up a notch!

Annie Courto is a full-time Registered Dietitian with  OnPoint Nutrition, providing weight loss and nutrition counseling.

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