December is nearly over and with that, 2015. I woke up this morning thinking about my New Year’s Resolution. I love January as it is a reminder to reflect on my life: what do I want to change, keep the same, or try for the first time? January is also like a blank slate. My resolution from last year that I did not meet, I can revise and attempt again.
My “go to” resolution is to drink more water. Since I have a “go to” resolution, that gives you an idea of how well I achieve this goal every year. I try getting myself new water bottles, which somehow always end up in my oldest daughter’s possession. I try adding fruit to the water for flavor, that usually works, until I am tired of cutting the fruit. Drinking water may sound like a silly resolution, but we all have those little things that we want to improve about ourselves. What better time to make an effort than in January when it seems like everyone is doing the same the same thing. It is like we are all part of a global support group!
Drinking more water may be just one resolution of mine. Water is necessary for a healthy body. It keeps joints cushioned, the spinal cord protected, organs clean, and cells nourished. The amount of water a person needs varies depending on exercise, illness, environmental conditions, and whether or not one is pregnant or breastfeeding. It is suggested by the Institute of Medicine that an adult woman consume 9 cups (8 ounces each) of water per day and an adult male, 13 cups per day. Although getting more of this essential substance is necessary and a goal I will continue to work on, I feel I need a resolution a bit more creative and meaningful to my life. Whatever I decide, this year I will prepare myself with a few more strategies to help me succeed. If you are like me and start out the new year with the best intentions and then somewhere mid-February start to lose sight of your goal, these tips may work for you too.
First, set a resolution. Resolutions tend to be personal, so take some time to reflect on yourself. Are you the person you want to be, have you traveled everywhere you want to go, have you fulfilled all of your dreams, paid off all of your debts? Remember to be realistic when deciding on what you will achieve this year and start small. Slight, gradual changes, like me adding one glass of water to my day instead of insisting I add eight right off the bat, will more than likely generate a positive result. When I am used to that one extra glass, I will add another glass, and then another. Before I know it, I will have met my ultimate goal and will not have felt too overwhelmed while achieving it. Baby steps, I suppose. If your goal is too large or unrealistic from the start, it will be more intimidating than possible and you may decide to give up too soon. Start small and build on it.
Next, spread the word. Share your resolution with your friends and family. Letting people know will help keep you motivated and accountable. More than likely, someone will ask how you are doing with your resolution at some point during the year and you have to give them an answer. Also, write your goal(s) down. Put it on your mirror or someplace you will see it every day. Gather your magazines together and make a collage of pictures that represent your goal. I am actually planning on doing this with my family to help us all stay focused and to visually see what we would like to achieve this year. I am sure at least one of my daughters will have a new pet on her collage. I am also certain I will have a home improvement on mine, but just one (realistic and small).
Finally,get our your calendar. Not only do we need a start date for our resolution, for many of us it is January 1, we need an end date too. Set a date for your goal to be achieved. If you want to run a 5K or a marathon this year, pick a race and register. Write that date down and train. If you want to lose weight or eat more healthy, make an appointment with a dietitian for help with your plan. Work together to establish a date to meet your ideal weight or to schedule in those fruits and vegetables.. If your goal is to cut back on/ or stop drinking soda (this is not at all a hint to my husband, Curt) mark on the calendar when you will be finished drinking the beverages. Set dates for measurable, mini goals too. These will help you check yourself along the way, track your progress, and to see if any modifications need to be made.
This date can also be a celebration date. Plan a huge party or treat just yourself to something special. You will have worked hard to meet your goal and you will definitely deserve a reward! Just try to keep that reward consistent with your resolution. So, say Curt does decide to stop drinking his favorite diet soda this year, his reward should not be a case of this beverage, but perhaps tickets to a Notre Dame football game. Planning a reward that you really want may also help you to achieve your goal.
I hope these goal setting ideas help you establish and accomplish your New year’s resolution.
Cheers to a Happy and Healthy 2016!
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak!
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD
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