Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 Strategies for Sticking With Your Resolutions + An Online Resource

How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions? Already ditched a few, maybe? Not to fret, I've got some help! A list of strategies to help you stick with your goals, plus some online resources for you. It can be kind of tough to find really reliable information out there--anybody can put whatever they want on a website & call it 'expert advice'.

To avoid the questionable fad diets, the scaremongering & the just-plain-wrong information out there, here's one I trust: the government of Canada's Healthy Canadians website, It's got tons of information & tips on healthy living for the entire family. You can also find information like safety advice on common household products, important safety alerts & recalls, information to help you support the physical & emotional health & safety of your kids, plus tips to help you choose nutritious foods.

Now, on to the strategies for sticking to your resolutions, straight from Healthy Canadians:

1. Take small steps. 
  • Be realistic about what you want to change in your eating habits. Often people decide to change without thinking it through. Begin by getting familiar with Canada's Food Guide & start slow by setting 3 small goals for yourself, instead of one big one.
  • Choose healthy goals that are easy to achieve. Once those have been reached, then choose some new ones. Examples:
    • Increase the amount of fibre in your diet by making half your grain products whole grain each day (e.g. choosing whole grain bread instead of white).
    • Reduce your sugar intake by limiting sweets, alcohol & other sweetened hot or cold beverages. Remember, maintaining positive change takes time, so be patient on your journey toward a healthier future.
2. Be specific
  • Think about healthier foods to add to your diet--not just about what to eliminate. Write them down, or use My Food Guide to develop a customized approach for healthy eating that's right for you.
  • Small changes over time will make it easier to track your success & feel good about meeting your goals. You'll also be motivated by your success to make even more changes.
3. Tap in to your network
  • Having the right support system in place will help you meet your goals. Examples: 
    • Get the family involved.
    • Ask the kids to help create a meal plan every week.
    • Invite a friend or colleague to join you on your journey toward a healthier future.
    • Trade meal plans & recipe ideas.
    • Commit to spending 20 minutes walking together every lunch break.
4. Try and try again
  • Expect that you may have setbacks. Some goals will be harder to achieve than others. The key is to get back to it & try again. You may have to make some adjustments to your timeline, but it'll all be worth it in the end.
5. Celebrate your success
  • After you've accomplished each goal, reward yourself with a fun family outing, make a date with friends, or find another way to celebrate your success.

How do you do it? Have you got any tips of your own to share for sticking with resolutions? What did you think of the Healthy Canadians website?

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