Why You Should Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution

By Eve Kecskes MS, RD

It’s two-and-a-half weeks into the new year: are you still following your resolution? If so, how much longer do you think you can keep it up? Or are you like most of us and did you ditch it by now?

Most people make resolutions that are too hard to stick with long-term. We end up failing and then give up completely. As a dietitian, I’m going to focus on New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and be healthy. I’m sure you want to be healthier even if you didn’t make a formal resolution.

Here’s my recommendation:

If you did make a vow to lose weight in 2012, or if you just thought about doing so, ditch the actual resolution. It’s easy to put way too much pressure on the scale and dieting, and when you “fall off the wagon” you give up completely.

Instead, I want you to think on a more broad scale. Do you have any positive health habits you would like to pick up this year? Instead of thinking negatively I want you to think positively. You’ll be more likely to stick with positive goals than negative ones.

Make sure to be specific (instead of exercise, say exercise 3 days/week for 30 minutes each day) and be realistic.

Here are some positive health goals to give you ideas:

  • Do some form of exercise 3-5 days/week. This could be going for a power walk, to the gym, going hiking with your family, dancing, anything that gets you moving!
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day
  • Eat produce with every meal
  • Cook at least 3 meals/week
  • Buy one new food every time you go to the supermarket

Here are the types of goals that are negative and tough to stick with (so stay away from vowing to follow these all the time.)

  • I will not eat sugar, white refined products or any processed foods
  • I will not eat starchy carbohydrates
  • I will not eat more than one portion at meals
  • I will not eat fast food
  • I will not get snacks from the vending machine
  • I will not eat from my child’s plate

When you make goals like these, it’s easy to do the opposite and when you do you feel guilty and often throw in the towel. It’s OK if you eat white bread once in a while or have a cookie. Try not to let these little treats get out of control. If you have a cookie at your office meeting, no big deal, just eat well at the next meal and do the positive things that you are working towards. For example, make sure dinner has produce involved and that you’re drinking lots of water.

If you stick with the positive goals you will feel really proud of yourself and be more likely to stick with it further.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 – let me know how it goes!

Eve Kecskes MS, RD (Registered Dietitian) is one of the founders of Fitmomease. Together with Sheryl Wilson, CPT, Esq. (Personal Trainer), Fitmomease offers support groups, fitness and nutrition tips, sample workouts and recipes, and motivational stories. Fitmomease seeks to provide moms everywhere with the support and tools they need to reach their health and fitness goals.

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