Do your resolutions need a rehab? Last article I discussed why I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions.
In order for any attempt at changing behavior to be effective, the intention needs to be specific and realistic. Always run them by a friend, since they can help you identify if your goal is realistic or you or not.
When you first make a change, it is essential that you start with an achievable (read: EASY!) short term goal. These would be ones that you would achieve in a week or a month.
Long term goals are ones that take 4 months or longer to achieve. Long term goals require several short term goals along the way.
Most New Year’s resolutions are long term goals. They are often not achieved because appropriate short term goals weren’t set along the way. Most of the time I recommend short-term goals to start with.
It’s a lot more fun to celebrate after a week of achieving something, then having to wait for several months to see if you were successful!
Let’s get started!
Hopefully you’ve already been thinking of one or two areas to work on. Remember, 3 at the most! I’ll give you my example for this season of my life.
I have a 6 month old and trying to plan and prepare dinner has been a challenge for us as parents, as it is for many of my clients!
For the most part, we’ve been barely getting by and just grabbing whatever we can find to eat in the fridge or pantry. It works, but it causes me stress to not know ahead what we are going to have. Especially as I start getting hungry!
Another benefit to making sure that I have meals made up in the evening is that I get leftovers to take for lunch. Without a packed lunch I’m stuck wondering what to eat for lunch, or not eating enough which is a recipe for a hangry woman – not good for anyone, ha!!
My long term goal would be to plan meals, and have a month menu framework to utilize. In order to reach the long term goal, I need to set my short term goals.
I need them to be specific (measurable) and realistic (achievable). In order to achieve this goal, I should identify what steps I need to take. By writing down the steps in achieving the goal it helps me to see what small things I need to do to move towards reaching the goal.
My short term goals will be to:
- Make a list of family favorite recipes.
- Make a list of foods that I can purchase at the store that makes dinner quick and easy.
- Utilize google calendar to choose which recipes to make on each night. I will aim for recipes that can be made the night before, or in the crockpot or instant pot. Aim to do this prior to Sunday grocery shopping!
- Grocery shop on Sundays.
Another essential step to achieving positive lifestyle change is setting up rewards, at least for the first several weeks. I’ll talk more about rewards in the next article.
Maybe you have a long term goal to increase intake of fruits and vegetables (a good goal for most people!) You would need to set several short term goals to meet that.
Here are some things that might help:
- Make a list of fruit/vegetables snacks that I like and put it on the fridge as a reminder.
- Sign up for healthy recipes to be sent to my email.
- Try a new way to prepare a fruit or vegetable once a week.
- Sign up for a healthy cooking class.
- Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables twice a week.
- Keep fresh fruit out in a bowl on the counter or kitchen table.
- Keep track of fruit and vegetable intake on the nutrition tracker.
Here are some other specific and achievable healthy eating/ wellness resolutions:
- I will do 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week.
- I will eat fruits and/or vegetables 5 times/day.
- I will Drink 8 cups of water daily.
- I will not drink more than 36 oz. of soda per week.
- I will try cooking a new healthy recipe once a week.
In the next post I will talk about tracking progress and rewarding yourself. You can start thinking about some positive, non-food based rewards for celebrating successes.
If you’re someone thinking about making a positive change, feel free to share your resolution by posting in the comments. I’ll be happy to give you feedback.
If you’re not ready to make a change – don’t worry about it! Reward yourself for the positive things you’re doing already and check back with yourself in a month or two.