By Kati Mora, MS, RD from AroundThePlate.org
Let’s face it. Some rules are just meant to be broken and with less than 80 percent of people actually achieving their New Year’s resolutions anyway, maybe its not such a bad idea to break a few of them this year. Instead of completely giving up on your resolution though, consider the reasons why your resolution was set to fail. If you can identify the reason, chances are you will be much more successful the second time around.
Although goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, they should also be fun and challenging. If they fail to be the latter it is often much harder to stick with, no matter how well-defined or memorable. So this year consider ditching your previously set resolution and unresolve to do something. It sounds counterintuitive, but if you take a look at these four resolutions to break, you will see that sometimes breaking ties with your staple resolution can help you achieve your ultimate healthy goal.
Working out at the gym. Who says that a gym membership is the only way to get ripped this year? Instead, consider working out in the great outdoors. Not only will you save a little money, but you’ll reap the benefits of being one with nature. In fact, multiple studies have shown that exposure to natural light improves mood, concentration, and may even help you heal faster. Winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sledding, and cross-country skiing are just a few ways to get moving outdoors during the colder months. Snowball fights and snow fort building will also work up a sweat with a lot of fun along the way.
Eating and drinking less. Let this be the year you actually eat and drink more! More fruits, more vegetables, more minimally processed foods, and more water. By incorporating more of these types of foods and beverages into your day you will feel better than ever. If weight loss is your goal, you might be surprised that sometimes you lose by eating more. It is also a lot more fun to have a goal that doesn’t require you to give something up. Instead, try new things and never feel deprived.
Eating more meals at home. This one is a little harder to swallow because cooking meals for yourself can be a great way to eat nutritious, good-tasting food all the time at an affordable price. Yet, not everyone knows how to cook and you might be doing yourself a disservice if you plan to cook more and the food you create, although potentially healthy, tastes awful. Instead of setting a resolution to eat more meals at home, why not eat the food you make at a cooking class instead? Or explore a trendy new restaurant that serves locally-grown food? You don’t have to eat there all the time, but you might find that restaurants and places that host cooking classes will serve as great inspiration for making your foods at home both nutritious and delicious.
Spend less time on the computer. While reducing computer time is a noble goal, there are many reasons why you should turn your computer on at least once a day. Use yours to search for healthy recipes, find inspirational food and health blogs, and keep track of the food you eat. These activities shouldn’t take too long, so hopefully you won’t be on the computer for more than an hour or so. After your digital “foodie fix,” remember to go and explore what you’ve learned in the kitchen or at the grocery store.
Some resolutions just don’t work. The ones that do will be the ones that are fun and challenging. By unresolving your resolutions this year, you can set a goal that is much more likely to meet both of those criterion. Just remember the reason behind your goal – to improve your health one step, or broken resolution, at a time!
January 17th, 2013