Resolution Flopped? 3 Ways You Can Still Impress Yourself This Year
March 01, 2017
It was such a good idea.Starting January 1st, I’m going to cook more and eat healthy! But two weeks later, at the end of a long day, you’re on the couch realizing you just had half a doughnut, a pint of ice cream, and a bottle of wine for dinner. Sigh.
Wait, before you think of yourself (or the couch person above who shall not be named) as a food failure, know this: It’s not you, it’s them.
Resolutions, that is. Success rates run about 9%. Because resolutions are like time bombs set to fizzle out: vague, unrealistic, and pretty much the opposite of those “SMART” goals that HR gets so excited about.
So let’s just forget about all that.Because you can still dazzle yourself this year.
Habit coaches Jae Berman, RDN and Jessica Guterman, RDN know you can because they’ve seen clients (actual people!) pull it off.
These are the three steps Jae and Jess recommend for going from zero to hero this year:
- Choose one simple doable goal to stick to for the week. Yes, the WEEK. Never mind the whole year. Trust us on this. And don’t overshoot. (Everybody does.) Choose baby steps. Depending on your starting point, you could decide to fill a third or half of one plate each day with veggies. Like lettuce and your favorite vinaigrette. Or broccoli steamed in the microwave. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Or maybe you’ve never met a vegetable dish you like, so you commit to a week of experimentation to find ONE veggie dish that wins over your tastebuds. When our content manager, Liz, had her first taste of steamed lacinato kale with a little butter and tamari sauce, she felt like she’d just discovered a magical garden where vegetables transformed into food you like. Many years later, she even likes plain steamed kale, but she had to start somewhere.
- After the week is over, take a couple minutes to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. What’s one thing that worked? Let’s say you decided to stop having a sweet treat at 3pm. You might notice that the days you succeeded were the days you had a satisfying alternative on hand. Like yogurt. Or maybe the days that worked were the ones where you had more protein at lunch, or took a walking break in the afternoon instead of grabbing a chocolate cookie. Over the next week, amplify what worked–with the same goal–and watch how much easier it gets.
- Repeat–and celebrate small wins. Seriously. Every week, focus on one small straightforward goal. And be proud of tiny successes. Jae and Jess say that the people who acknowledge their small accomplishments are the ones who keep going. Did you, for the first time in ages, learn to make a new easy, fantastic healthy meal this week? Did you pass up M&M's at the office? Write it on a “wins” calendar. Text it to your sweetheart. Tweet it at the New York Times. (Don’t tweet it at the New York Times.)* Then you can build on the little triumphs. Like, you could try making veggies a third of your lunch and dinner for a week. Or go for a new goal, like eating a different breakfast. The point: all you need to focus on is this week’s goal. Keep that in view and you’re golden.
*Habit would love to see your #smallwins! Tweet us @Habit.