I like to think about the positive, especially in the New Year.  Too often we hear “don’t eat this” or “don’t do that”.  It’s far better to think of the many healthy things we can eat and can do.

How do we start off with healthy resolutions?  It’s a good idea to begin with one small change at first, and once you’ve incorporated that change entirely into your lifestyle, then gradually introduce another new thing – one at a time. It is better to make your healthy resolution one that you can maintain and be consistent with for a lifetime.  For example, going on a diet is a short term resolution, but eating healthy is a life-long, sustainable resolution.  Here are a few tips to start off your New Year on the right foot.  Choose one that resonates with you and stick with it before you begin another one.

It’s a good idea to begin with one small change at first, and once you’ve incorporated that change entirely into your lifestyle, then gradually introduce another new thing – one at a time.

  • Eat in more – Eating at home leads to healthier ingredients and a lower consumption of calories and sodium.  Reorganize your kitchen, find some new healthy and appetizing recipes, and enjoy the process of home-cooked meals. Remember to build your meals around fresh vegetables.
  • Eat breakfast – Research shows that eating breakfast is linked to better work performance, enhanced concentration, and weight control.  Plan ahead and be sure to include fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink more water – Your main beverage should be water, so it is important reduce the amount of sugar sweetened beverages consumed. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty and dehydrated.
  • Keep a food journal – People who keep food journals of everything they eat tend to eat less and are more mindful eaters.
  • Eat more foods from the Earth – In other words, eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans.  Limiting heavily processed foods will allow more room for these whole foods.
  • Eat mindfully – More awareness with eating may help with portion control and may prevent over eating.  Remember to eat slowly and breathe in order to taste, savor, and digest your food.
  • Get out of your comfort zone – Try a new healthy activity or food.

If New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for you (they’ve never seemed to work for me), then try a WOTY!  Also known as Word Of The Year.  I’ve set a WOTY for the past three years, and they have worked so much better than setting a New Year’s Resolution. Simply pick a word or theme for how you’d like to feel in the upcoming year.  This can be less intimidating than picking a resolution, while still giving your year direction.   This one word can be a guiding light in everything about your year – relationships, career, fitness, food, etc.

WOTY Ideas

If you are trying to break free from calorie counting, choose the word freedom.  If you are tired of comparing yourself to others, choose compassion.  If you focus only on the end product and forget to enjoy the process, choose stillness.

WOTY Words

peace, resilience, gentle, strong, compassionate, ease, abundance, worthy, gratitude, praise, freedom, fly, positive, thrive, open, bloom, flourish, clear, lovable, unstoppable, classy, badass, playful, fearless, sunny, vibrant, balanced, nourished, limitless, wild, bold, generous, adventurous, grounded, brave, sparkle, chill, magnetic, stillness, light, glow-y, confident, daring, spirited, quiet, lush, natural, simplify, action, inspired, soulful, forgiving, happy, ease, boss, dreamy

Here are my WOTYs

2016: gentle

2017: worthy + spirited

2018: abundance + courage

Now it’s time to pick your WOTY!  Leave a comment with your WOTY 🙂

Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC

Author Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC

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