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Avoid New Year's Resolution Dilution

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

This year, I will ... exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight.

The New Year’s resolution represents the best that we want for ourselves. So why, does our resolve for a fresh start in January become a distant memory by March?

Behavior scientist, John Norcross, PhD, became interested in just this question. Dr. Norcross and his colleagues tracked 200 resolution-making adults over a two-year period to identify what helped to predict an individual’s success in making a behavior change.

What did they find? Successful resolution-makers didn’t stop with a general resolution such as “I will lose weight”. They took it a step further. They created specific strategies to turn their goals a reality. As an example, “ I will lose weight" turns into "I will lose weight by taking lunch for work every day.”

The takeaway - action leads to change!

Here are some actionable diet-related strategies that you might consider in 2020:

Stage your environment for success – Remove temptations like salty snacks and sweets from your home, and ADD healthier alternatives like pre-washed/cut fruits and vegetables, and dips like hummus and guacamole. Stock your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry with whole foods like frozen veggies, fruit, cauliflower rice, whole grains, nuts, beans, and canned fish.

Batch cook - Cooking ahead turns whole foods into fast foods. Having healthy cooked foods at the ready during the work week makes it easier to stick to your goals and not turn to take out. Make it a goal to batch cook one item at the start of the week - a pot of your favorite soup, chili, or stew, roast a sheet pan of veggies, or bake a veggie & egg frittata for an easy grab and go breakfast. Need inspiration? Start a free 3-day trial of my meal plans.

Buy a cold bag – This is one of the greatest “action leads to change” tips for those who work. The night before, pack your cold bag with lunch so you are not tempted by bagel Mondays or pizza Fridays. Don’t forget healthy snacks like Greek-style yogurt, fruit, pre-portioned bags of nuts, and hard-boiled eggs, hummus, and raw crunchy veggies.

Add more vegetables to your plate - If you have read my blogs, you know that veggies are my weight loss superheroes. High in antioxidants and filling fiber but low in calories, veggies are a great way to nourish and satisfy while staying on track. Using any of the above three strategies makes this one a slam dunk!

Above all, believe in yourself. You can do this!

Need a little support? Reach out and together we will build a realistic and sustainable plan to help you turn your New Year’s resolutions into reality!

Norcross, J.C., Mrykalo, M.S., & Blagys, M.D. (2002). Auld lang syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(4), 397-405.


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