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Don’t do it.  Don’t make a New Year’s resolution. All of us have made a resolution in the past, and probably most of us have failed.  The problem is not you, but rather needing to go about making changes in the way that works.

First off, you probably have many good reasons why you want to make a healthy New Year’s resolution.  What may be lurking in your sub-conscious brain is why you DON’T want to make healthy changes.  Understanding any barriers to the resolution you want to make is important.  For example, eating out with co-workers fills a social need, but hinders a goal to lose weight.   If you find a barrier, you can begin to find ways around the barrier, or can begin to change the “con” to a “pro”.  

Secondly, a whole year is an impossible time to set a goal.  It is much better to set a ‘First Two Weeks of the New Year Resolution’ and evaluate your progress then.  This utilizes the SMART goals, which are indeed smart. 

  • “S” stands for setting a specific action, for example, “I will walk for 20 minutes 3 times per week”.  
  • “M” brings in the measurement – 3 times a week is something you can actually count or check off on your calendar. 
  • “A” means action-based (some use Achievable) so set a goal that has you doing something.  People often want to make their goal “to lose weight”, but the actions that make that happen will involve healthy eating and an active lifestyle.  For example, an action based goal might be to decrease soda intake by 2 sodas per week or to add 60 minutes of exercise per week.   
  • “R” is realistic and I have had to encourage people to decrease their goal to something more attainable.  It is better to set a goal you feel confident you can achieve and enjoy the feeling of success than to set a goal that leaves you feeling like a failure.  
  • “T” is where we bring in the 2 week resolution instead of a yearly resolution.  You can evaluate your progress after 2 weeks and if you have at least done what you said for those two weeks, you won’t approach the next New Year reproaching yourself because you didn’t do what you said you would do the year before.

I hope this truly helps you have a Happy New Year and move yourself toward the health that you are wanting.