By: Carleton Rivers, RD
|7 Quick Tips|
|1. Be as specific as possible with your goal|
|2. Put your goal in writing|
|3. Set small objectives|
|4. Reach out for support|
|5. If you slip up, don't give up|
|6. Keep a food diary|
|7. Reward yourself for small accomplishments|
1. Specificity is key
Focus on one specific resolution or goal for the New Year. It is important that your resolution is a goal that is measureable. For example, instead of just saying that you want to lose weight this New Year, decide on a specific weight amount that you are striving to lose within a certain period of time. You may find it helpful to specify ways that you will achieve your goal.
2. Seeing is believing
Write down what your resolution or goal is for the New Year and post it where you can see it on a daily basis (bedroom mirror, office cubicle, refrigerator, or bulletin board). Share your goal with friends through social media so that they can help you stay committed.
3. Set small objectives
To make a goal seem more achievable, try setting small objectives. For example, if your goal is to eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk food, an appropriate objective would be to not buy potato chips at the grocery store (if that is your weakness). Once you feel as if you have mastered one objective, move on to the next.
4. Don't be afraid to reach out for support
If you are having trouble sticking with changes, a support system made up of your friends or family can supply the motivation you may be lacking. Sometimes just vocalizing your feelings may help you overcome temptation.
5. If you slip up, don't give up
Try not to be so hard on yourself; a positive attitude can take you a long way. If you splurge on a piece of cake for dessert, don’t let that be an excuse to give up on your resolution. You are human and no one is perfect. Counteract your mistake by eating a little less the next day or exercising a bit more and get right back on your path to achieving your goal.
6. Keep a food diary
You may find it helpful to keep a food diary for at least a week to see how much you are really eating. Write down everything you eat and drink in a 24 hour period. Include the time of day and how you are feeling. This may help you target any emotional eating that might be occurring. Include portion sizes (how much of each item you consume) because you may not realize how much you are actually eating when you help yourself to seconds or thirds at meal time. Record the amount of calories and fat grams so that you can identify the foods that you should reduce or avoid. There are many free phone apps that can help you find the nutrition facts for food. Calorie King is a wonderful website and app that supplies nutrition information on a variety of foods. For diabetics, my favorite free phone app is GoMeals. On this app, you are able to keep a food, activity and blood sugar diary right there on your phone. Be sure to write down any items you snack on because this is where calories can add up quickly without you even knowing!
7. Don't forget to reward yourself
Decide on how you will reward yourself for achieving small milestones so you have something to look forward to. For example, if your resolution is to lose 60 pounds within the next year, make your reward a new pair of shoes for every 10 pounds that you are able to lose. Avoid choosing a reward that will put you further from achieving your goal. If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, I do not recommend rewarding yourself with food!