As the new year rolls in, many people make resolutions. Many of these resolutions have to do with diet and exercise. While I won’t get into the exercise, the diet part really needs to be addressed.
Here’s a bit of advice: No matter what New Year’s Resolution you choose to make, please be sure that you consider these things first.
1. Believe in your decision. You need to believe what you are doing will really improve your life. You may think that this is a given, but thinking this through will really help you when times get tough, and it’s hard to keep your promise. See my post on giving up sugar.
2. Know that YOU are in control of yourself. If you start to falter, do it for YOU. Do it for self-control, for self-improvement. A good resolution should have multi-faceted benefits. Moreover, intrinsic motivation is MUCH more powerful than extrinsic motivation – for example, thinking about losing weight as a result of resisting that chocolate bar is NOT effective, especially in the moment. Instead, think, “I am awesome, therefore I am going to stick to my promise and not eat that sugar bomb.” Walk away. No feeling compares to being completely in CONTROL of yourself. AND YOU CAN DO IT!
3. Pick a reasonable resolution. If you want to give up gluten, and your diet is literally bread day in and day out, you probably are going to want to consider cutting down first before going gluten-free altogether.
4. Don’t be ambiguous. Set a goal that has CLEAR directions in SPECIFIC situations. Don’t say, “I’m going to eat less sugar.” Say, “I am going to eat 25 grams or less of any kind of added sugar each day.”
5. Don’t be influenced by society’s perception of a “New Year’s Resolution”. The general rule is that is you fail once, it’s over. But guess what? That’s not reality. You are going to fail. You are going to have days where you “need” to “cheat”. But you are going to pick yourself right back up again, because you know better than to think that “it’s over”. Also, consider social events.
6. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you want to give up cookies, and there are holiday cookies literally all over your house, there’s going to be an issue. Get RID of those visual temptations!
7. And finally, DON’T TRY SO HARD. The inner dialogue that goes on in your head when you are making a decision – try to shorten it as much as possible, while still going for the correct choice. You know what to do. So DO IT – don’t think about it.
And remember, resolutions can be made at ANY time of the year! There is NEVER a wrong time to start healthy habits!
Until next time~