Well, it is that time of year again. Where we make these grand New Year's Resolutions, hoping that we will finally make some major changes. Most of the time New Year's Resolutions are made to improve health: weight loss, eating healthier, quit smoking or exercising regularly. I am not against these New Year's Resolutions. I think it is always a good idea to set a long-term goal; BUT the key words are long-term . The best way to achieve a long-term goal, is to set easier short-term goals to step your way to that major change you want in your life.
In order to have better success with your New Year's Resolution this year, set up some short-term goals to help you stay on track and not get frustrated when you have not lost 30 pounds in a few weeks. Below are some examples to help get you started on your way. Remember to keep these short-term goals objective, but somewhat flexible so that you can shift things around a bit if you need to.
Short-Term Eating Habit Goals
1. Adjust portion sizes. Eat smaller amounts, especially if you are eating out or tend to go for seconds at dinner time. Chart for portion sizes.
2. Eat a well-rounded breakfast every morning. For example, a hard boiled egg and 1 cup of a fruit salad (banana, grapes and apples). Breakfast smoothie recipes here .
3. Focus on recipes that are low-calorie, but nutrient dense. A trick I use is to grate vegetables into soups, rice casseroles and pasta sauce. This boosts recipes with lots of nutrients and adds little calories. Here are other ways to "sneak" healthy food into your diet.
Short-Term Exercise Goals
1. Move more. Set daily goals on increasing your movement. Some examples: climb stairs instead of using the elevator; park farther away from the door rather than waiting for that parking spot close to the door; and find excuses or errands to get up from your desk at work more frequently. There are many devices to help you track movement, check them out here . If you want to go simple, buy a step counter or pedometer .
2. Schedule it. The best way to make sure you are making it to the gym on a regular basis is to put it in your calendar like it is an appointment - at the same day and time. Start with one or two days a week and build up to 3-5 days a week over the course of 1-3 months.
3. Set weekly goals and record in a journal or chart. It is motivating to be able to see how you are increasing your pace or distance on the treadmill; or increasing your weight on your squats. This way when you are feeling like your goal is still so far away you can pull it out and see your progress. At the end of each week, set a goal for the following week. Keep it simple and objective. For example, run for 2 extra minutes on the treadmill or increase the weight on squats by 5 pounds.
Good luck and I hope you feel more prepared to actually accomplish your New Year's Resolution this year. Here is to a healthier and happier 2015!