New Year...Old You?

New Year...Old You?

Author: Dr. Jae Osenbach is a research psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2).

One thing that we all seem to get pressured with at the beginning of the year is keeping that good old New Year’s resolution. Like most people I know, I want to eat healthier and lose weight. Unfortunately, my resolution effort died about three days into the year. I really wanted to keep with my new diet, but when a coworker brought in those amazing cookies, I just couldn’t turn them down. Then there was the day that I just needed one more soda for that afternoon pick-me-up. And the fruitcake was on clearance at the supermarket…I just couldn’t turn that down. I think you see what I mean. It’s just so hard to keep with those healthy resolutions, don’t you agree?

One suggestion that I can give you is to keep it small, super small. Make tiny goals you can do every day. Instead of resolving to completely changing your diet – like going cold turkey and eating no sugar at all – add just one little change to your diet. You could make it a goal to eat one additional serving of vegetables a day. One serving of vegetables is approximately one cup, so cut up a half of a cucumber and snack on that throughout your day. You could also drink one more cup of water a day in between your morning cups of coffee. And if working out is just not working for you, try adding one situp per day or one jumping jack. I know it sounds funny to do such a small amount, but you’ll soon see that it’s easier to stick to small goals, rather than resolving to make a major change all at once.

The gist of what I really want to say is, don’t get depressed or discouraged when your resolutions don’t turn out the way that you’d like. You’re definitely not alone. A study in the UK showed that 88 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. So instead of setting yourself up for failure by making a big, vague resolution (“lose weight,” “eat healthier”) make small, concrete goals that you can more easily achieve. You’ll not only feel yourself succeeding daily, but may find that over time, all those small successes get you to the big goal you really desired. Community Terms and Conditions

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