Do you find it hard to stick to your resolutions? Maybe you set the bar too high. Any resolution you set for yourself needs to be something you would want to do. If dropping pounds is on your list – as it is for many of us – approach your resolution in a way that does not set you up for failure by the end of January. Try a few of these mini resolutions to stay on track and make resolutions that will last all year long!
Don’t Focus on a Target Weight
Do not focus on a target weight. Track your progress by picking a piece of clothing such as a pair of jeans you would love to fit into again and use that to measure how your body is changing. Each time you get closer to zipping up those jeans, you will get an instant motivation boost.
Fuel Your Body
If you are still skipping breakfast, now is the perfect time to try a new habit. Treat breakfast and food in general, as fuel for your body. This will ensure your metabolism stays up throughout the day. Skipping breakfast would be almost like filling up your car tank at the end of the day to go nowhere but sit in a garage.
Build a Colorful Plate
Incorporate three different colored foods a day into your diet. Brightly colored foods like oranges, beets and spinach are nutrient-rich and packed with powerful antioxidants. Challenge yourself to pile on the purple, red, green and orange fruits and veggies.
Snack on Fresh Fruits
Swap some of your go-to packaged snacks for the natural sugars of fresh and dried fruits. Fresh fruits like apples and bananas are fiber- and vitamin-rich, and dried fruits like apricots and cherries are great for snacking on the go.
Cook More Meals at Home
Eat at home more often. Cook at home at least one night a week. Eating and cooking at home saves money and keeps you in control of what you are putting in your mouth.
Enjoy Your Favorites
Enjoy a small amount (100 calories) of one of your favorite treats daily. That might be a 100-calorie chocolate bar, or 1/16 of a pie. No deprivation – and still cutting calories.
Use Smaller Plates
Use smaller plates; less space on the plate means automatic portion control. And when ordering or buying food, choose the smallest size of any high-calorie items.
Use your hands to help with portion control. The palm of your hand is equal to a 3 ounce meat portion; one cupped hand is equal to a ½ cup portion serving of rice, pasta, or cooked vegetable; two cupped hands is equal to a 1 cup portion serving of raw vegetables; and the tip of your thumb is equal to a teaspoon serving of margarine, mayo, or oil.
Most people underestimate their daily calorie total. Each week calculate the calories for two meals. For every 500 calories per day you decrease, you can lose a pound a week. Become more mindful of eating and some day you may decide the second helping of food is not worth it!
Write About It
Keeping a journal is an easy way to spot patterns to your eating style and food triggers. How much tasting, grazing, and snacking do you do? Record foods eaten, estimate portion size, be specific and be honest! Identifying and changing just one bad habit is a sign of progress.
Pick a Sustainable Activity
Instead of resolving to spend an hour a day pounding away at the gym, plan to walk at least 10 minutes a day, adding a few more minutes each week. For every one-hour TV program you watch, stand up and exercise during commercial breaks. This will not only keep you constructively occupied, it will keep you out of the kitchen. You will get 15-20 minutes of exercise and still be able to relax watching your favorite show. Before you know it, you’ll have established great exercise habits.
One Goal at a Time
Set one small, specific goal. Start with a small change to your eating or exercise habits. You might resolve to eat one extra serving of a fruit or vegetable each day or pick an activity goal, like walking after dinner. You are proving to yourself that you can do it and one small pay-off can be an incentive to try another change. Habits do not just change themselves. To stay on track, make mini resolutions that will last all year long.