Shawn Johnson's the body department - staying on track with your new year's goals

Staying on Track with Your New Year’s Goals

Okay, so it’s the middle of January. Time to face the facts. The holidays have passed, and like most people, you may have eaten a little too much or skipped a few too many trips to the gym during that time. (I certainly indulged a bit myself!) And now, with the start of 2015, you’ve decided to lose a few pounds, get in shape, and eat more healthily. If that’s your story, then take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. In fact, according to the USDA, it’s one of the most common New Years’ resolutions, and there’s a whole industry based off of the drive to start the New Year off well and get back on the exercise wagon each January.

As a dietitian, I’ve always thought of January the way an accountant thinks of tax season… it’s a busy, stressful time of year, but on the other hand it’s nice to see how much impact your expert advice can have on your clients. And I don’t blame anyone who comes to me wanting advice; exactly the opposite, in fact! Focusing on your health is always a good decision, and it’s never too late to make a positive change in your lifestyle and habits. But all too often we dietitians see our clients fall out of step after just a few weeks and go right back to their old habits. There are many possible reasons for this, but in my opinion, the two most important are these:

1) We’re creatures of habit. We fight change by any means possible.
2) We’re scared of failure, so we just don’t try at all.

There’s a lot of social pressure to get fit fast and lose a bunch of weight right away in the New Year, and this leads people to try extreme diets or exercise plans that ultimately fail. All of the health food ads, gym membership discounts, and pictures of models wearing spring fashions lead us to believe that we can become someone totally new and different each year. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, then we know that it’s not very likely to happen. I bet lots of people have already abandoned their goals after just two weeks… are you among them?

If so, here are some nuggets of wisdom that can help you stay on point with your resolutions this year:

Shawn Johnson's the body department - staying on track with your new year's goals

*This post was previously published on radionutrition.com