5 Simple Ways You Can Nail Your Weight Loss Resolutions
By Alyssa Kessel, RDN, LD, Expert Dietitian
41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 9.2% are successful in achieving them.
With the New Year comes the opportunity for a fresh start, and health and wellness are no exceptions. If you’re like my patients, you probably have mixed feelings about making weight loss resolutions. You always have the best intentions, and genuinely want to reach them. But why do you – and so many others – struggle keeping up with them?
Often, we fail to realize that the issue isn’t that we aren’t capable of sticking to our resolutions. It’s that we need to do a better job making resolutions into habits that are actionable and achievable.
Don’t set yourself up for falling short or letting the New Year sneak past you. Now is the perfect time to take control of how you want to better your life. Check out my top 5 ways to start the new year right – and let me know how I can assist you in reaching your goals!
1. Do a yearly review
If you have struggled with a goal in the past, then it might be helpful for you to take a step back before taking a step forward. Understanding how you got to where you are now will help you plan a successful goal in the future.
So take some time to reflect back on the accomplishments and challenges you’ve faced this year. Examine your family, health, relationships, career, etc., and ask yourself questions like:
- What did I do to better my health this past year?
- Which accomplishments make me the proudest?
- How did I improve my life?
- What did I change this past year that is now making me happier?
- What could I have taken more time for this year?
Questions like these can help you see what you were capable of this past year and guide you for setting proper goals in the New Year.
2. Pick the right resolution
There’s a greater chance that you’ll keep your resolutions if you make them realistic. Choose goals that have personal meaning, and understand the barriers and challenges you might face in order to meet your goals. Ask yourself:
- What will happen if I don’t make a change?
- Why do I want/need the change?
- What has been holding me back?
3. Clarify your resolution
Ensure that your resolution can be actively tracked. For example, a resolution of “eating healthier” is too vague. How will you know when you’ve achieved this goal? Will you be satisfied with eating healthier at one meal every day? Every meal? Just the work week?
Specifying your goals not only helps you better define exactly what the goal is, but it helps to equip you with the tools to accomplish them. I recommend setting a tangible and achievable goal so you can track your progress. Try making SMART Goals:
S – Specific or Significant
M – Measurable or Meaningful
A – Attainable or Action-Oriented
R – Relevant or Rewarding
T – Time-bound or Trackable
For example, if we want to “eat healthier”, say something like: I will eat healthier this year by eating breakfast every day and increasing whole food dinner meals at home to 5 days/week.
4. Make a plan
Once you have clarified your goals, it’s time to make a plan for the concrete steps you’ll need to reach them. To start, break down your resolution into a small sub-group of goals. The achievement of the end goal becomes more realistic as you start checking off the steps.
I recommend keeping a journal and documenting your journey. This will help you reflect back on your accomplishments and challenges. You can also use tools like health phone apps to track goals, look up recipes, and more.
5. Understand that change is a process
Change can be hard and stressful, so don’t punish yourself or give up on all of your hard-earned progress because of one or two bad days. Leave the past in the past and try again the next day. Always focus on the positives.
Be proud of your success along the way, big and small. No one is perfect and it’s unrealistic to pressure yourself to execute your goals perfectly. Let yourself be human!
People often think that losing weight, running a marathon, or saving money is the end goal. But you’re really aiming for the lifestyle change. Being and living healthy is the end reward.
If you haven’t decided on what your weight loss resolutions will be, I can help! You can read about our weight loss program (and see a testimonial) or get started with our online form. I hope your New Year is starting off well!