Friday, December 23, 2011

New Year's Resolution worth Keeping

A New Year’s Resolution worth Keeping.

The last present has been unwrapped and all the holiday activities are a memory and now it’s time to turn to making New Year’s resolutions. Over 100 million Americans make resolutions each year. The most common of resolutions include: starting an exercise program, eating better, reducing the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine or other drugs. Despite our best intentions 4 out of 5 people will fail at keeping these resolutions.

This year I would like to suggest that instead of giving up a bad habit, why not take on a good one? Here are some healthy New Year’s Resolutions you may actual enjoy “putting on” and experience success.

1. Try a new food that you have not ever eaten before. Some great suggestions include: Black rice (try looking in the organic isle of your grocery store or purchase on line at ), pomegranates or roasted parsnips.
2. Cook at home! Want to eat healthier, cheaper, and more deliciously? Make it yourself. It will also give you the opportunity to buy local and seasonally.
3. Enrich your life by sharing a meal together. Did you ever notice that food taste better when shared with family and friends? Our lives are enriched when we share a repast with those we love. Want some great ideas on how to make this time even more special? Read Laurie David’s new book The Family Dinner
4. Go Meatless one night a week. Have you heard of the Meatless Monday movement? In efforts to cut down on our meat consumption and reduce our risks of heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and obesity reduce your meat consumption. Going meat free just one day a week will improve your health and the health of our planet. For more information on this topic see
5. Want to make exercise a part of your daily routine this New Year? Get a buddy! Research shows having a buddy increases our chances for success and it’s more enjoyable!
6. Learn something new this year! You’re never too old to learn something new. Take a cooking class, learn to ride one of those high speed fancy road bikes or jump on a skate board with your kids. If you want to stay young and keep your mind healthy and alert, continue to learn and challenge your brain.

Now that you have some goals here are some tips to be that one (remember 4 out 5 people don’t keep their new year’s resolutions!) who is a success.

1. Be committed to that new habit you want to make. Believe that you can do it. Those with a strong self –efficacy are more likely to achieve their goals.
2. Have a plan of coping strategies in place so you are ready when you reach a road block.
3. Keep track of your progress. The more you monitor your behavior and receive feedback from your support system, the greater your chances of success. Why not keep a calendar hanging in your kitchen and record the day’s you went meatless or tried a new food. Don’t forget to document all the times you went for a walk or went to the gym. Remember it takes a minimum of 15-19 consecutive attempts at something to make it a habit.
4. Get an accountability partner- perhaps a family member or your best friend. They may be just as interested in making these New Year’s resolutions as you.
5. Missed a week of meatlessness? Don’t give up. Get right back on schedule. Mark it on your day planner or make yourself an “appointment” on your cell phone- “no meat today.” Do whatever it takes to remember your new commitment.
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who make New Year’s resolutions have higher rates of success at making a desired behavior change then people who don’t make resolutions. After six months, studies report, 46% of resolution makers were still keeping their resolutions. Go for it- been that 46% this year.

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