New Year’s Resolutions…Did you make any?  Are you sticking to them?  If you did make them, I hope you are one of the 8% of people who will actually achieve success. That’s right, I said 8%, which might seem discouraging, and for that I apologize. That’s not my intention, after all, 8% is certainly better than 0%, am I right?? This stat came from a university study but there were some other numbers from the study that are more encouraging, and I’ll talk about those shortly.

Now, for a confession from me”¦I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  And, no, it’s not because I’m perfect.  HA!  Far from it! I am not a dietitian who eats perfectly or professes to eat perfectly.  I have weaknesses just like anyone else.

Okay, back to why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  It’s not that I don’t agree with setting goals, by any means! Trying to better yourself, whether it’s with a food and nutrition related or other life related goal is something I will always encourage and hope to inspire. The problem I have with New Year’s resolutions has to do with the time of year and the let-down I feel after the holiday season.

Thanksgiving and Christmas bring about a flood of wonderful traditions and festivities. And then comes New Year’s Eve, which, although it has changed A LOT since having kids, is still so festive and fun.  I don’t know about you, but I feel a pretty big let-down after all of those occasions are over.  My sister calls it the “Christmas Hangover”, which fits perfectly. Kids go through it for sure, what with having to get back to the reality of going to bed on time, going to school, and (gasp!) eating vegetables with no Christmas treats in sight! I’m sure I go through something similar, although on a milder scale, which is one reason why I get a little grumpy about the idea of making New Year’s resolutions on January 1st.

Another reason for me, is that it usually takes me a few weeks to really work up to the point at which I’m ready to make the leap into the actual “doing” part of my goal. I am definitely not thinking about what eating or exercise changes I want to make as I’m baking up my favorite Christmas treats, or sitting down to a festive New Year’s dinner. NO!  I’m savoring every mouthful of food and enjoying the company of my friends and family.

I hope you’re still with me after that tangent. My point is that I don’t feel like I’m in a good place right after Christmas and at the start of a new year to make significant changes to any part of my life, and I can’t help but wonder if this is part of the reason why so many New Year’s resolutions fail. People just aren’t in the right mindset after weeks of indulging, to make such “cold-turkey” changes. Rather than make a bunch of new goals at the beginning of each new year, I think about things I’d like to change throughout the year and do my best to put those changes into action!

Now for some more positive news. The study I talked about above found that 46% of people who make a New Year’s resolution are still maintaining it in June. So, for 6 months, almost half of the New Year’s resolutions are upheld, and that is definitely positive. Even if the resolution drops off toward the end of the year, think about how good you would feel if you kept your vow to not eat cookies, or to exercise more often, or to drink more water for 6 whole months?  The answer is, of course you would feel better!

So, how can we make success a reality when setting a goal?  I’m going to give you some Do’s and Don’ts type tips in my next post that will help make success more attainable when you set new goals (whether it’s January 1st or any other time of the year). Here are a few of the tips, as a teaser for what’s to come:

  • DO make it the right time for change
  • DO set yourself up for success
  • DON’T go overboard
  • DON’T beat yourself up over a slip-up
  • DO make specific and action-driven goals

There are more, so stay tuned…