Ditch the Resolutions

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…so hear me out…

It’s a new year, you wanna make a new you! You write down your New Year’s resolutions in an old notebook you have lying around your house and suddenly, you’re super motivated for the upcoming year.

“I’m gonna work out every day.  I’m going to eat healthy. I’m going to stop eating sugar. I’m going to save money. I’m going to socialize more…”

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I get it. I’ve been there. And I’ve been there mid February when all those resolutions go down the toilet…

So many of us get super pumped and motivated initially, but then get kind of overwhelmed after changing so much at one time that we quit doing all of the resolutions altogether.

Take it from a dance/group fitness instructor…classes are hoppin’ in January…then they slow down in February…and it seems like nobody comes back until it’s bathing suit season. We all do it! We all make these “plans” for the new year and then forget about them when things get tough…

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Here’s a little tough love for ya…don’t make resolutions! Making so many resolutions set us up for failure because we need to be realistic with changes to be made.

Here is a scenario. You are sedentary but decide for your New Year’s resolution you will workout at 5:30am before you go to work everyday. That is quite an ambitious goal! A few things may happen: 1) you go too hard in the gym, hurt yourself, and decide the gym isn’t for you and 2) you are so tired from your early workout that you have brain fog at work. Making frequent, small changes is often a better solution because you can build on the improvement you made once you accomplish it.

For instance, instead of going hard at the gym 5 days in a row after being sedentary for the past year, build your tolerance up. I would never recommend a sedentary individual to go run 5 miles on their first day. Work your way up to the fitness level you want to be.

Instead of making a bunch of resolutions for 2019, I challenge you to start right now! Make a specific goal for yourself and write it down somewhere you can see it daily. Below is a format you can use to truly see your change.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. Guide: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeline.

Specific: What is it that you want to achieve from this “resolution” or better yet, change? Example: I want to exercise more.

Measurable: How much of this change do you want to see? Example: I want to exercise 3 days a week.

Attainable: How can you make this change happen? What do you need to do to make this change happen? Example: I need to meet with a personal trainer to help me get in the groove of working out 3 days per week.

Realistic: Is this goal achievable? Can you dedicate 3 days per week to going to the gym? Is this plan realistic for you. If it is not, look back and see what variation of the plan may be realistic for you.

Timeline: When do you want to achieve your goal? Example: I want to exercise 3 days a week within the next month.

 

I had a college professor tell me that is takes 21 days to start a habit…so don’t give up on it too soon! Your goal can become a habit if you stick with it long enough.

 

Tips for goal setting:

  1. Write your goal down in a journal specifically for your goals. Journal about your journey with that particular goal, and when the goal is met, use that same journal to log the rest of your goals.
  2. Be positive! Ain’t nobody got time for negativity. I think it is healthy to acknowledge our failures, but do it in a positive light. “I only made it to the gym twice this week, but I will do better next week.”
  3. Track your progress using a calendar, day planner, or dry-erase board so you won’t only be the change but you’ll also see the change.
  4. Plan an achievement-reward. This will give you incentive to keep working toward your goal! It could be a shopping spree, nice dinner date with your significant other, a vacation, or even just a day devoted just to you!

 

Ultimately, we should be setting goals as they arise instead of making a bunch of “resolutions” at once that are unrealistic and most of the time fail. Instead of setting ourselves up for failure, let’s set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. technique.

Challenge for the week: Grab a journal and write down one S.M.A.R.T. goal to implement before the new year…that way your new “habit” will already be in place!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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Seek Adventure

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota (2015)

One important part of well-rounded wellness is the sense of adventure.  Many people have different ideas of adventure…for example…

My husband’s idea of adventure is going to Carolina Adventure World for a weekend with his buddies to ride dirt bikes 24/7 for 2 days straight. He gets the thrill of excitement and it makes him happy.

For me, my idea of adventure is being out in the wilderness surrounded by trees, pine cones, and a nice breeze. I spent a lot of summers going on outdoor excursions as a child, and I still enjoy them to this day.

 

 

I want you to think about your favorite adventure spot…imagine what you would be doing there right now…

And I will tell you mine…

When I think of adventure and true bliss, I think of the time my parents and I visited Mount Rainier in Washington state in September 2015. The first day we arrived, I was not too impressed…it was rainy and gloomy, we had no cell reception, and I missed my boyfriend…

 

The next day, I woke up to a cold breeze and ready to see what this place was all about.

As I hiked up the mountain, I was surrounded by a mystical land that looked like it came straight out of a fairy tale book. To make the experience even more magical, it began snowing…it felt like Christmas in September! Soon, the enchanted forest became covered in the fluffy snow making our hike unbelievably beautiful.

 

Though on our hike we did not get to see the panoramic views due to the clouds, snow, and wind, we still had an amazing adventure–and one that I consider my favorite.

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Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with stress? As humans, we tend to stress about all sorts of things–relationships, school, work, health…but stress can shed years off your life. My mom used to tell me to “go to my happy place” when I am feeling down or overwhelmed…it is a tactic I have implemented in my life that I truly believe improves my well-being.

Mount Rainier is an adventure that I experienced and is now my “happy place” that I visit often. I encourage you to think of your happy place and visit it when it seems like things just aren’t going your way…it happens. We can stay organized and make plans for things, but sometimes things just don’t pan out the way you want them to. When this happens, go to your happy place.  Counting your blessings can help with stress and depression too.

Seek adventure in your life so you can re-visit them when times get tough.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN