New Years Resolutions: No Scales Necessary!

While many people think that losing weight is the most important resolution they can make in 2017, think again! This year, instead of making your resolution weight-based, try focusing on other aspects of your lifestyle that need improvement.

So what other positive changes can you make besides losing pounds? You can vow to eat veggies every day, become a meal planning pro, run a half-marathon…there’s so many other goals you can set. If you shift your attention from the scale to other items in your life that need tending to, success will follow you.

Below are some realistic resolutions you can set, and simple strategies to help you actually check them off this year:

Resolution #1: I want to cook more meals at home and not rely so much on convenience foods.

Strategies for success:
Plan out your meals for the week and write a grocery list before going to the store.

Use Pinterest or a meal planning app such as Mealime to create meal plans and keep your recipes organized and easy to access.

Don’t over-do it! Aim to prepare just one new recipe per week.

Action steps:
1. I will cook at least 5 dinners per week and bring my lunch to work Monday-Friday.
2. I will spend 1 hour on Sundays preparing a few items in advance to make weeknight meals easier.
3. My kids will prepare their snacks and lunchboxes every night, so I can free up time in the morning to make breakfast instead of the drive-thru.

Resolution #2: I want to increase my fitness level.

Strategies for success:
Make it a habit.
Find ways to incorporate movement into your daily schedule.
Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour long commitment, every bit counts!

Action steps:
1. I will walk the parking lot for 20 minutes on my lunch breaks during the week, and go for 1 long hike on a weekend day. If it is bad weather, I will complete an exercise video as soon as I get home from work.
2. I will do 20 squats each day for 1 week, then increase to 30 squats…up to 100 squats per day. Then add in another movement, such as push ups, and increase in the same increments.
3. I will start every morning with 20 minutes of yoga before I start my day. If I choose to sleep in, I will do it before I go to bed.

Resolution #3: I want to conquer emotional eating.

Strategies for success:
We all eat for hunger and non-hunger reasons, which is normal. But if emotional eating is getting in the way of reaching your wellness goals, its time to look into underlying causes of your habitual stress-snacking.

Identify emotions such as boredom, loneliness, happiness, or stress, that trigger eating for non-hunger reasons. Its totally OK to feel these things-even the negative ones. Listen to what your body and mind really want. Do you need more sleep? More social support? Less commitments during the week? More nutrient-dense meals?

Create a toolbox of other activities that you can do instead of eating.

Surround yourself with meaningful activities and people that will enrich your life, rather than food.

Action steps:
1. I will take up a new hobby to keep me occupied in the evening, such as scrapbooking, that will alleviate boredom.
2. I will remove myself from the kitchen and do 10 minutes of stretching or take a hot shower when I feel the need to graze when I am not hungry.
3. I will make like-minded allies. Seek out other emotional eaters, like family members or an online community who you can call or chat with you to keep you accountable. Don’t be afraid to ask for support!

As you can see, 2017 brings many opportunities to fine-tune your lifestyle without having to weigh-in. Whats your New Years Resolution?

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