Julie Whittington, RD

Healthy tips from a Registered Dietitian

Rethink New Year’s Resolutions in February

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  For many of us, resolutions are not as high on the priority list in mid-February as they are in early January.

Now might be the perfect time to reconsider your health needs and whether or not you are keeping your health as a top priority.  Start with an overall scan of your eating behaviors.  Ask yourself if you think things like your portion control, refined sugar intake and fat intake are in line.  Then, scan your physical activity routine…if you have one!  Are you fairly active most days of the week?  How about stress?  Are you successfully managing day to day stress?

Once you take a few focused moments to do a reality check of your health, you can more easily encourage yourself to make healthy choices.

The key, especially when you might not be quite so motivated, is to ask yourself if you are happy with the state of your health and if all your health needs are being met.  For instance, are you having annual physicals?  Are you at a healthy weight?  These then link with your health behaviors such as eating and exercise.

Make a list of things you would like to improve, change or keep the same.  Look over that list over a series of days if needed…to help your health desires reappear as priorities.  The more attention you place on it, the more important it will likely become to you.

It might help to use the power of positive affirmations to help get you in the right frame of mind, too.  Look for affirmations online or in a book of affirmations.  They really can increase motivation and promote positive behavior change.  Simply google “affirmations” or “nutrition affirmations” on your computer.  Then, write down your favorite ones (ten or more).

When you are ready to make changes to further improve your health, write down specific and realistic goals.  It is wonderful to have longterm goals, such as “I want to lose 50 pounds”.  However, be sure you then have specific short term goals set to get you to those longterm goals.  A good short term goal might be, “I choose to go on a brisk walk with Sarah on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, every morning at 7:00 a.m.”  Or, “I choose to eat lunch at home at least 4 days this week, instead of going through the fast food line.”  Setting a goal to review affirmations is helpful, too, as it can keep you motivated and manage stress. 

All hope is not lost for getting on track with health resolutions – no matter the month of the year.  All it takes is a refocus and some time set aside to really focusing on your health needs.

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