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Kara Ryan

  Kara Ghiringhelli, Department of Public Health


Kara is a Nutrition Education Specialist at DPH

On New Years Eve, thoughts of calories, fat, exercise and health do not exist. After all, resolutions don’t start until after we ring in the New Year.

Is this how you are thinking? I would place a bet that for the majority of people out there, this is the mindset. Doing things that are good for our bodies is not for today, but for tomorrow. If you are in this mindset, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get out of it. Doing things that are good for our bodies and for our health shouldn’t feel like a chore to be pushed off for another day. They should feel like a natural part of your everyday. When they don’t, most likely the healthy habit you have chosen as a resolution isn’t realistic and come February, you are back to your old routine.

This year, be good to yourself and make resolutions that you know you will stick with. Make them realistic. For example, if losing 50 pounds before summer is your goal, you may want to reconsider. It is nice to have such a big goal, but it places a lot of pressure on you to achieve it. If you scale it down to something a bit more realistic, you are more likely to stick to it and are more likely to go above and beyond. With larger goals, it is good to set small milestones, such as losing the first 2 or 3 pounds. When you achieve the small milestones along the way, treat yourself. For example, when you reach your first milestone, treat yourself to a manicure or a new shirt for your workouts. It sounds silly, but believe me it will help motivate you to continue to move toward your next milestone.

When there are changes to your routine, plan for it. There is always something to celebrate—a birthday, an anniversary, the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl—plan ahead for these celebrations so that you don’t fall off the wagon. But if you do fall off the wagon, which you will from time to time, don’t give up. Dust yourself off and get back on. Have a plan in mind if it should happen again.

Keep a journal of your progress. By reflecting on what you have done to achieve your goal keeps it fresh in your mind. When you are journaling your progress, think about how you are feeling now that you have chosen to do something good for yourself. Are you feeling like you have more energy than before? Are you feeling more confident about yourself? Feeling good can be one of the strongest motivators to continue on your journey to better health.

As you create your New Years Resolution for this coming year, what will you do to ensure that you will achieve it? We’d love to hear from you!

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