Sticking to Your Resolutions

Did you make a resolution to run a half marathon this year?  Or did you decide to finally quit smoking?  While it’s easy to make resolutions, they are often difficult to keep after the first few weeks. A little planning will start you on the path to success in 2014.

Begin with a resolution that is significant to you. If spending less time on your phone is important because you want to play with your kids, you’re more likely to stick with it than if you decide to lose 10 pounds because everyone else in the office wants to.

Next, plan how you will make it happen. For example, if you decide to eat healthier, choose which junk foods you will give up and what you will replace them with.

Resolutions are not kept through will-power alone. When it gets tough, you need help. Try writing a reminder, such as a sticky note at your desk. Also, telling a friend who can encourage you will help a lot when it gets harder to stick to your resolution.

Finally, don’t give up. If you ate a family-sized bag of potato chips by yourself, you haven’t ruined your resolution. Just start the next day as if you never faltered, and keep working on it – remember, new habits take time.

By making small changes in your eating habits, you can make a big difference in your life. Here are some tips and tools to get you started:

  • Keep a food diary. Knowing what you eat will help you to make changes. Write down when you eat, as well as what, how much, where and how you feel when you eat. You can also download an app to your phone which can help you easily calculate this information.
  • Plan ahead. If you line up your meals for the week, you can save time and money.
  • Shop smart at the grocery store. The next time you need to go shopping, eat a snack beforehand. Always use a shopping list and choose 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain bread and crackers. Buy a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Read the nutrition facts label. Look at the serving size, and try to keep saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium at 5 percent of your recommended daily value (DV) or less. Select foods that have 20 percent or more DV of fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
  • Eat healthy away from home. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, water or diet drinks. Opt for steamed, broiled or grilled dishes, and ask for dressing or sauce on the side.
  • Cook at home. This will save you a lot of money, as well as calories.

Finally, if your company offers a wellness program, take advantage of it.  While each program varies, they often include health assessment tools, biometric screenings, personal health records, direct employee communication, health education and coaching.