As we step into the new year, many of us are making resolutions, and it’s no surprise that “New Year, New You” is a common theme. Though I’d argue you don’t need a new you, you may just need a healthier you! While the enthusiasm of the new year is contagious, let’s talk about a crucial aspect that often gets lost in the resolution craze – setting realistic and sustainable nutrition goals.
The Deal With Unrealistic Resolutions
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a fresh start, but diving headfirst into overly ambitious nutrition goals can often lead to burnout and disappointment. Weight loss-focused resolutions and restrictive diets might seem like a good idea initially, but they often set us up for failure in the long run and maybe even disordered eating.
I love to teach my clients how to focus on the action steps that will ultimately get them to the outcome they’re looking for. Setting the goal isn’t enough in itself to make it happen and we don’t have full control over things like the scale outcome.
Benefits of Realistic and Sustainable Nutrition Goals
Now, let’s shift our perspective. Picture this: a journey where your nutrition goals are not just attainable but sustainable (this is key!), creating a lasting impact on your overall well-being. Think improved adherence, better mental and emotional health, and lifestyle changes that stick around forever. This doesn’t happen by setting huge goals or following a crazy plan. This happens from starting small and accomplishing one new habit at a time. If you start a plan that you don’t see yourself doing long-term, then why even start?
Guidelines for Setting Realistic Goals
How do we get there? It starts with two things: a realistic assessment of our current habits and getting clear on where you truly want to be.
First you need a realistic assessment of your current habits. Are you exercising? Do you eat many whole foods? How much alcohol and sugar do you regularly consume? Are you getting quality sleep? Do you drink enough water? Really be honest with yourself as you answer these questions because it’s important to know where your problem areas lie.
Next, get a clear, realistic picture of where you want to be. Maybe you want to run a race or get stronger. Maybe you want to cook at home more regularly or lose body fat. Here’s the deal. You have to be very specific. Don’t just say “I want to be healthier”. That can mean a lot of different things because there are many aspects to overall health. What areas do you want to make better? Where do you see yourself? Get super clear!
Making Nutrition Goals Sustainable
Small, gradual changes are the secret sauce for success, I’m telling ya. It’s not about the destination (where you finally want to be); it’s about the journey (the daily action steps). By building on small victories over time and tailoring our goals to fit our individual preferences and lifestyle, we create a roadmap for sustainable success. Flexibility and balance in our dietary choices? Absolutely key.
I love the idea of habit stacking. This is great for those small, sustainable goals and action steps. I was on a recent coaching call with my clients and one mentioned hearing about someone who picked a new habit each month to add on to her current habits. I love that because it usually takes about a month for something to become a habit. Start small and add on!
Tips for Long-Term Success
Find your people! Building a support system is like having a cheering squad for your wellness journey. Whether it’s friends, family, or the expertise of a nutrition professional or coach, having a support network makes the road to success smoother.
Studies have shown that individuals who have a friend for accountability will stick to something for much longer. Plus it’s just more fun when you can celebrate the wins with someone!
Another tool I find helpful when you’re focusing on a goal is to journal. Write down why you started and what habit you’re focusing on. If you’re not a paper and pen kind of person, you can keep a note in your phone to refer back to, which is exactly what I do. The key is to come back to it, review, modify if you need to, but keep moving forward.
When Things Go Off the Rails
Setbacks happen. Life gets busy. Kids get sick. External pressures can be overwhelming. But keeping a positive mindset, overcoming challenges, and staying motivated are all part of the process. Remember, it’s okay to recalibrate your goals as needed. That’s why it’s important to go back and review often!
Remember, the secret to a “New You” isn’t about big and crazy changes; it’s about crafting a healthier, happier version of yourself over time. Share your goals and experiences with me over on Instagram. And if you’re wanting to team up to achieve your goals together, I can’t wait to have you join my metabolism makeover coaching program!
Wishing you a year filled with achievable goals, sustainable habits, and a whole lot of health and happiness!