New year resolutions do they work?
How long do New Year's resolutions last?
Of the 63% of UK adults who failed to keep a New Year's resolution, here is how long their last broken one lasted, percent
Less than a year
One month or less
Less than three months
Not even a month
Of the 63% of UK adults who failed to keep a New Year's
resolution, here is how long their last broken one lasted, percent
Source: Bupa/ComRes (November 2015)
New year diet resolutions only last a matter of weeks, and trying to do too much too quickly is to blame. New year resolutions may address diet change but they don't address behaviour change.The diets you choose need to be realistic and fit within your lifestyle. They need to be something that is realistic. It takes a long time to get where you are with your eating habits, you’re not going to be able to fix it in a short time.
By setting SMART goals and introduce non-food rewards you can achieve success with your new year resolutions.
What do SMART goals mean?
Specific: e.g. 'I will eat fruit between meals instead of biscuits'
Measurable: measurable goals help you to see what progress you're making. So, to use the example above: 'I will eat at least 3 portions of fruit every day';
Achievable: you're much more likely to keep to goals that are achievable. Small goals equal progress, and, once achieved, you can gradually build up to a main goal e.g. to eat less fat might involve lots of 'mini-goals' on the way, such as switching to semi-skimmed milk, or to limit cheese to just one small serving a day, at a mealtime.
Relevant: goals should be relevant to you. You're the expert on what you like, need and want, so choose goals that work for you.
Time-specific: set yourself a time scale for achieving your goal. If you're changing habits of a lifetime, this will take time, so allow yourself weeks, rather than days to achieve goals.
BDA weight wise web site has SMART goal charts and food diary that you can download and use.
Setting smart goals will help you make healthier food choices. First, there are the specific eating goals (e.g. halving the amount of cheese you eat in a week), and second, the eating behaviour change goals (e.g. sitting down to eat meals instead of eating 'on the go'). Both types are important.
Examples of SMART eating goals:
Start with just a few at a time, say 3 goals, and see how you get on. Better to start with a few you can stick to rather than lots you can't.
Limit my chocolate intake to one fun-sized bar three times a week
Eat at least three pieces of fruit everyday
Cut the fat off meat before cooking
Examples of SMART behaviour change goals:
Eat breakfast at least 5 days every week
Eat 3 planned meals every day.
Sit down at the dinner table to eat all meals.
Setting goals for healthy food and lifestyle changes means you know which way to go . It inspires and motivates you to succeed.
Good Luck. If you are having trouble in understanding and setting healthy eating and lifestyle goals then let a Dietitian help you.
People who are successful with SMART food and lifestyle goals chose non food rewards to keep motivated and achieve their goals.
Here are some ideas for non-food rewards you can try:
Day trip with family/friends
Luxury bubble bath with scented candles and aroma therapy
Save some money for every goal achieved
Get a make over
Try a hair cut
Organise you time and do your favourite hobby
Buy some jewellery/clothes
Cuddle the one you love
Read your favourite magazine / book
Get a message
Try introducing you time with Yoga/meditation to relax
Buy yourself some flowers you deserve it.
Or simply create your own ideas that make you happy. Remember the reward has to be non-food.
Rewards will help you keep up your goals. Long-term success comes to those who take small steps to achieve their goals. So it's really true the Tortoise won the race.
For Specialized Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer SRD HPC