Did you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight – or maybe eat healthy? If so, you’re not alone. That’s the top resolution people make each year, but only 8 percent of them are successful.
The reason many people fall short is they set too many resolutions, or goals that are so ambitious, they’re unrealistic. And as humans, if we don’t feel a sense of accomplishment in what we’re doing, we often stop doing it.
In the case of New Year’s resolutions, once you lose momentum, it’s hard to get back on track.
One of the biggest challenges people have with resolutions, or making change in general, is how they think about it.
People often view their end goal, or the change they want to make, with the mind of a sprinter. They want to get there as fast as possible. When in reality successfully making a change, especially when it involves your health, isn’t a race. It’s a continuous journey that requires hard work, practice, and learning.
An important step in the journey to eating healthier is erasing the word “diet” from your vocabulary. It implies eating a certain way for a short period of time. As most of us know, diets usually result in us falling back in our old habits. It’s easy to derail on a diet too. Eating a piece of cake or ice cream can make you feel like you failed your diet and lead you to quit it altogether.
Instead approach healthy eating with a food plan; it implies a permanent way of eating instead of a means-to-an-end. Focus on goals that you can live with for the rest of your life. It forces you to pay attention to what you eat, when you eat it, and why you eat it.
Below are a few ideas of food plans or approaches to eating you can try over the course of days, weeks, months, and longer. As you find plans that work, challenge yourself by adding new ones.
The United States Department of Agriculture provides more information about daily food plans and the amount of each food group you need per day. Click here to visit their website.
At the end of each week, celebrate your accomplishments; however, try not to use food as a reward.
Make sure you set time aside to consider what you did, what you learned, how it felt, and if you’re ready to, what you can do next. What you will come to find is eating healthy really can be easy and enjoyable when you approach it the right way.