The New Year is freshly upon us, and as we bid good riddance to the year 2020, we look ahead to how we want to shape our lives in 2021. If getting healthier is on your to-do list, avoid the pitfalls of
lofty, unrealistic resolutions destined to be dropped before the end of the month, and instead make a plan for success.
Follow our top tips for making healthy changes in the New Year:
Think of the big picture: Healthy changes are habits you can integrate into your lifestyle. Rather than going on a diet, think about eating habits that you can sustain over the long term. Rather than relying on discipline and willpower, think about healthy lifestyle changes you can enjoy and embrace for a better quality of life.
Break it down: One reason people abandon their resolutions is because they set the bar so high that they quickly get discouraged. If you have a big goal, break it down into smaller pieces so you can focus your energy on the task at hand. Celebrate every step you achieve, and you will be ready and motivated to take the next.
Make it active: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Wanting to eat better is a good start, but it is too broad. Consider how that goal will take shape on a daily or weekly basis. Focusing on specific actions like meal prepping for the week on Sundays or stocking up on healthy snacks will help you stay engaged and moving forward on your health journey.
Have a buffer: Change is a process, so do not get discouraged if you don’t stick perfectly to your plan. Let go of the guilt and disappointment and think of it as a normal part of the process. Notice if something like stress, fatigue or time leads you to veer off course, and take that into account going
forward. Reconnect to your reasons for wanting to follow your plan and get back on track.
Keep it positive: Welcome the New Year with open arms and think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Our mindset is powerful and has more impact on our behaviour than we think. Rather than being critical of what you want to improve, focus on the positive changes you want to make. Every small change counts.
Embracing a healthier lifestyle is always a good idea, but there is a certain momentum we feel at the start of the year. Take advantage of the clean slate to imagine the positive changes you want to make in 2021. If you want help improving your eating habits, a Registered Dietitian can help you start the year off right and provide you with individualized support to reach your goals!