New Year, New Me?

Alyson Comeau, MPH, RDN, LDN
January 17, 2024 / 5 mins read

Alyson Comeau, MPH, RDN, LDN

Author: Alyson Comeau, MPH, RDN, LDN

New Year, New Me??

Goals and Intentions for the New Year! Every New Year brings new goals and resolutions for many people! Often times, resolutions or goals can involve making changes to our routine to engage in healthy behaviors! This can include adjusting eating patterns to new exercise regimens. While having goals is a great way to stay motivated and give us a sense of purpose - a study showed 68% of people will give up on their New Years Resolution within 32 days. Some resolutions can be too big or too ambitious. We want to set realistic goals that are achievable. Here are some nutrition/health-related tips to make and achieve goals this 2024!! Below you’ll find some non-diet New Years intentions.

Goal Setting

Resolutions bring big, ambitious goals and the notion that we have to re-create ourselves. The saying “New Year, New Me” is used frequently. As I mentioned, it’s fantastic to have goals to motivate us. I think in our goal setting we have to be more realistic with ourselves. Going 0 to 100 is likely not the recipe for success. We are looking to create behaviors we can do for long periods of time. We also have to set goals that are achievable. Understanding our own barriers can helpful.

Be Realistic
If your goal is to get more exercise, consider starting small and engaging in movement that is fun to you! Someone who does not like running maybe could find a more suitable way to get movement such as dancing or yoga. If your goal is weight loss, consider meeting with a registered dietitian to find a plan tailored to your needs. Fad-Diets in research have a high failure rate because they go 0 to 100 with too many rigid rules. What works for someone, may not work for another. In your goals, I encourage you to consider what actions you can take to reach the goal. Maybe you even have sub-goals.
Example:
Large Goal: I want to run a 5k Example: Sub Goal: I am going to dedicate time to get runs in 2 times per week.

Be Achievable
Goals need to be achievable as well as realistic. Goals give us something to look forward to, a sense of purpose and help us feel accomplished! But - if our goals are too large or unachievable it can do quite the opposite. Make sure you have the time and means to achieve the goal you set. Understanding
the why is also essential. Everyone has different priorities in their lives; therefore, goals must be specific to you.

Don’t Dwell on Failures
Achieving goals is not linear. We will have ups and downs. In the words of the great Taylor Swift “if you never bleed, you’re never going to grow.” Failure is a necessary step to success. Practicing self-compassion can go a long way. We, as humans, like to see situations in
black and white, yes and no, right and wrong... what if we embrace the gray? If you fall off your new eating pattern for a week or weekend, take a deep breath and reset. You have not failed, it is not over, you are human! Healthy behaviors are not going anywhere. Shift the mindset to most of the time thinking. “Most of the time I eat a vegetable with every meal!” Be gentle with yourself!

New Years Intentions

Add more color!
There are lots of benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients! There are fun ways to add more color to your plate such as in soups, fun salads, side dishes and smoothies.

Establish a fun movement regimen!
We know there are enormous benefits to movement, incorporating or beginning a new exercise cycle has its challenges. Consider finding fun, enjoyable ways to get your body in motion. Such as dancing, zumba, yoga, walking, hiking, snowshoeing, etc!

Increase water intake!
Consider getting a fun water bottle that you can carry around. Your fun water bottle could have stickers or sparkles. Personally, I know I’ll drink more water if I have a water bottle with a straw. Consider adding flavor to your water like drops of juice, fresh / frozen fruit!

Prioritize sleep!
Sleep is important to heal, repair, improve mood & cognition and improve mental and physical health. When sleep is off, it can affect our hunger and fullness cues causing our eating to feel out of whack! Practice good sleep hygiene and find ways to wind down in the evening.

So, this 2024 you’re not creating a new version of yourself. We are creating a better version, New Year, Same Me, Upgraded.

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