The New Year is the perfect time to start working on the new you and resolutions to lose weight or quit smoking, but success eludes most people.
A survey by the University of Scranton (Pa.) last year found that only 8% of people who made resolutions stuck to them, according to a news release. However, health experts at Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas, say there are ways to turn your resolutions into realities.
Be creative with your goals, and remember that goals can be set any time of the year, Karen Frey, PhD, clinical psychologist at Parkland, said in the release. Dont talk yourself out of New Years goals because of past disappointments, just do it differently
Frey urged people to focus on one or two attainable goals, and develop steps to achieve them. Be specific about your goal and goal steps, she said. Broad goals without time frames allow us too much room to procrastinate.
For example, instead of saying, Im going to get more exercise, it might be better to plan to buy a pair of running shoes by Friday, and set a Saturday start date for your 10-minute morning walks, which you will do daily for the next two weeks. At that time, re-evaluate the amount of time and/or number of days you want to continue exercising.
Its also important to tell others about your resolutions so they will hold you accountable. Write them down and put them where you can see them every day. Sharon Cox, a registered dietitian at Parkland, said your goals for health and fitness shouldnt sound like medicine.
Start 2015 with little changes that you can live with, cook more meals, buy less processed food, buy more fresh produce or drink more water, Cox said in the release. It can be as simple as planning your meals and snacks for the week, or pledging to take a bottle of water to work each day.
It is important to make your goals fun; try a new vegetable or recipe each week, get two to four fruit servings a day, or prepare a new meal for your family or friends.
New Food and Drug Administration rules take effect in November requiring some chain restaurants to list calorie amounts on menus for food and drinks, according to the release. The rules apply to restaurants with 20 or more outlets.