by Elisa Olivier-Nielsen, MA, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, EON Consulting
Do you feel like your best laid out plans, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, went out the window once the holiday season began?
For some of us, the holidays come with some challenges like increased stress, traveling, out-of-town guests, constant gatherings, weight gain, etc. It feels as if we need a vacation after the holidays are over!
With the beginning of a new year, one may aim to pick up where he left off while another may want to take on a new challenge. Either way, this is where New Year’s resolutions come in. However, it is estimated that about 22% of people give up their resolutions after only one week, while 40% quit after one month and 60% abandon their resolutions after six months.
Your New Year’s resolutions may involve ongoing projects or introduce brand new endeavors depending on your goals. Once you have narrowed your goals down, let’s talk about how to increase your chances at success.
I like to use an acronym to etch this process in order to increase the likelihood for success — R.A.C.E.
Routine. Whether you employ a well-established routine or choose to establish a new one, a routine is vital to continually shape the habits that will support new goals.
Accountability. Find someone who can keep you on track such as joining support groups, using apps or following programs, etc. Accountability places you in a position to be held liable to a standard not only to your actions but also to results.
Consistency. Often our limited availability undermines our success, as we may underestimate the time commitment needed to achieve our goals. First, I suggest listing all of your resolutions with the relevant action steps and then deciding when these action steps are to be taken (i.e., daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.).
I highly recommend you schedule these steps into your planner or calendar. If a task is not scheduled, it may not be completed.
Evaluation. I suggest evaluating your goals, action steps and progress every four to six weeks. This will allow you to notice what may not be working, decide whether you may need more time or resources to achieve your goals, or you may even be ready to add another goal!
Embrace your New Year’s resolutions; take action to support your journey to win your own race!