New Year's Resolutions: Let's Make Them Work for Us!

This year, I'm going to:
  • Make at-home meals so my family spends more time together.
  • Lose the extra weight that I gained from last year.
  • Get more physical activity.
  • Eat better.
Wow!  That's a long list of goals!  By setting New Year's goals, we focus our attention on parts of our lives that we want to improve.  However, if we make goals that are too broad or not specific enough, we might be setting ourselves up for not reaching our goals.  What to do?

Let's look at the goals listed above and try to break them down into smaller steps that will make it easier to meet and track the progress made to keep motivated.

  • Family meals.  Choose a reasonable number of times that your family can make meals at home.  What would work for your family?  Can you eat two dinners a week together?  How about "I will make at-home breakfast on weekends" if that is more likely to work.
  • Weight loss.  Adding extra pounds doesn't just happen over the holidays.  It will take some time to get rid of the extra weight.  Set a realistic goal of losing one pound a month.
  • Physical activity.  Getting more physical activity will help to reduce the weight too.  Set goals on physical activity like "I will take a walk during lunch whenever the weather allows" or "I will bike with the kids two nights a week after dinner".  Build activity plans as specific steps that you can accomplish.  You can always increase your physical activity as you get into a routine and start to enjoy the benefits!
  • Eat better.  Look at the way that you and your family currently eat and find ways that you can improve.  Do you drink soda?  Drinking soda provides empty calories.  Set a goal to reduce (or stop) the amount of soda  you drink.  You can also set a goal to eat fruits and vegetables every day.  If you already eat fruits and vegetables, eat one more each day.  Drink lower-fat milk and choose lean meats and poultry as often as possible.
For additional tips on how to make specific, realistic goals check out our previous blog post

By making your goals specific, you will have a great change of reaching them!  Have a healthy New Year!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall