NYC Nutritionist and Personal Trainer Lists New Year’s Resolutions You Can Stick to

With 2017 just around the corner, the itch to change, improve, and “start over” is inevitable. The ending of one year and birth of another brings with it nostalgia and the sense of new beginnings. This brings on the dreaded resolution. Gym memberships skyrocket in January, and by May, 80% of those eager gym goers have petered out and gone back to old habits that don’t include getting regular exercise and eating healthy.

A 2013 Forbes article cites that just 8% of people achieve their resolutions. Resolutions tend to be unrealistic, lofty, and not specific enough to actually see through. And, instead of making simple, smaller changes, people tend to go for the end goal without realizing that change happens in steps, not bounds.

Don’t fall into the resolution trap. Improvement and new beginnings can happen anytime during the year. But if you’re dead set on January, try these New Year’s Resolutions you can stick to.

  • Celebrate your body! Every. Single. Day. This is not an overnight change. We have been programmed to hate our bodies then buy products, gym packages, surgeries, creams, and everything in between to fix ourselves. Write down five things you love about your body (strong arms to hug your children, a smile that lights up a room, feet that look good in sandals …). Paste them on your mirror. Add another thing each month. Remember, you are a model for your children, nieces and nephews, and students about how to love your body.
  • Eat two more portions of vegetables or fruits each day: Most of my clients don’t get their recommended dose of fruits and vegetables each day. Keep veggies and fruits cut up in Tupperware for an easy, quick snack. Instead of reaching for the chips, pull out some carrot sticks or peaches from the fridge. Make this your go-to morning and afternoon snack. Increasing vegetables and fruits in your diet is a great way to fill up in a healthy way. Changing the way you snack is the first step toward changing the way you eat.
  • Take foods off the naughty and nice list:  Foods aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad.” Recently, I was interviewed by Delish Magazine and they asked which foods dietitians and nutritionists recommend people stay away from during the holidays. They were surprised I said, “None!” With the exception of clients with incredibly specific health needs and food problems, I don’t play Santa Claus and relegate foods to a bad list/good list. Even I’ll have a hot dog at a baseball game. There are ways, smart ways, to lose weight and keep it off.  Food isn’t our enemy!
  • Walk away from your problems: Put up a calendar on the wall and set specific movement goals. Get a favorite playlist and work your way through it, vacuuming, walking the dog, walking to the store. Add a song each week. Make your goals ones you can measure, count, add up. Make them specific. Instead of, “I will walk Tuesday and Thursday,” write, “I will walk 35 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday.” Or “I will walk through seven songs on Tuesday and Thursday.” Instead of, “I will be more active,” write, “I will walk the dog three days a week after dinner.” Then stick to it.
  • Make Health a Family Matter: Clean out the pantry together. Grocery shop together. Walk together. Take up a family sport. Go to the park together. Sign up for a family run. Have specific family goals. Create a family calendar or a goal stick. Everybody sets their own goals. When those goals are reached, perhaps you can have an enticing prize: a weekend getaway, tickets to a favorite show or restaurant. Involve kids and spouses and grandparents in your new health program. Being an island of celery and carrot sticks in a sea of donuts will not help you, or anybody else, for that matter.

These five resolutions might seem pretty light. But inching toward change, changing our perceptions and the way we view our bodies, and teaching our children that health is for everybody, can snowball into some pretty phenomenal monster goals! Resolve to be healthy. Resolve to love your body and the magnificent machine it is. Resolve to teach your children that they are beautiful machines of infinite possibility.

Happy New Year! I’ll see you in 2017!