Refreshing New Year's Resolutions…One Step at a Time

Refreshing New Year's Resolutions…One Step at a Time

Many of us start each New Year by making lofty resolutions with good intentions, but find that after a short period of time they are too difficult to accomplish.  This is especially true when trying to make changes to improve your family’s health or yours. There are so many different factors that come into play when making changes in a family: different ages, stages, schedules, eating habits, preferences, activities, school, work…. How could you possibly make a resolution to improve the health of the entire family?

With obesity rates soaring in both the pediatric and adult populations and the associated medical complications, making some changes to your family’s lifestyle in the New Year is a great way to define the words refresh, renew, and revitalize!

Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals for better health this New Year:

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

1. Start with small achievable goals.  Start slow. Change is a process, not an event.  For example, if your goal is to increase your vegetable consumption because you are eating very small quantities, make your resolution to increase vegetable consumption by one serving per day instead of eating 5 servings of vegetables per day.

2. Be realistic.  Know what you are and aren’t willing to change.  If you are not a night owl, then making a resolution to go to the gym or for a walk after dinner is not an attainable goal!  Do not set your self up for failure (remember the first principle: start with small achievable goals).

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

3. Start now. Don’t wait until a certain day or date to start reaching your goals.  Often we pick a Monday or the first of the month and then continue with bad habits until that time, often ramping up our bad habits until our start date.  When you feel motivated to make a lifestyle change, start right then and there!  After you make your change, if you have a setback, it’s okay. Change is a process. Learn from it and move forward rather than having regrets and guilt. Pick up where you left off and keep moving in a positive direction.

So, where to begin on the journey to better health for you and your family? 

There are many habits that you might want to refresh to improve your family’s health in 2013. Here is some food for thought (pun intended) to get you on your way to revitalization:

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

  • Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (the more colorful, the better).
  • Increase your intake of whole grains (try alternative grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and barley for a new spin on an old favorite).
  • Increase your water intake and decrease consumption of soda, juice, diet soda, and coffee.

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

  • Aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day (adults) and 60 minutes per day (children).
  • Aim to choose foods without trans fats/hydrogenated oils (found mainly in processed foods like cookies, cakes, crackers, margarine).
  • Have regular meals and snacks each day—try not to skip meals.
  • Cook more meals at home instead of eating out or ordering food.
  • Have family meals: increase the frequency from wherever you are now by one meal per week and then keep going from there.
  • Make one night per week a meatless night and explore alternative plant-based foods (new vegetables, legumes, tofu, tempeh, beans).
  • Legalize foods. All foods are allowed in a well-balanced diet (except if you have a specific medical condition or food allergies).  Let the concepts of balance, moderation and variety guide your daily choices and you will be on your way to better health…just remember to take it one step at a time.

Be Well, Be NutritionWise.

~ Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD of NutritionWise

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.