To Make a Change in the New Year, Try Setting Goals, Not Resolutions

Jan 1, 2015

New Year’s resolutions are often hard to stick with, and by February many forget about their resolution altogether. One of the most popular resolutions each year is to lose weight.

If you actually want to shed some of the weight added during the holidays, holistic health coach Emily Levenson suggests setting goals rather than resolutions.

“[A resolution] generally is this big broad sweeping declaration of ‘I’m going to change my entire life. I am going to lose 20 pounds. I’m going to do all of these great things in my life,’ and people don’t really get specific enough when we talk about resolutions,” said Levenson.

Instead, she said setting goals such as having more energy, lessening health issues, seeing your grandkids grow older, bettering relationships or being able to keep up with your children, will help maintain motivation to lose weight throughout the year.

“I think that can really help with the long term will power of any changes you're making that if you know why you’re doing it, you’re more likely to continue doing it even when it gets difficult,” said Levenson.

Also small changes like adding spinach or kale to a smoothie, or having water in addition to soda rather than depriving yourself of unhealthy options can motivate you to do more. According to Levenson, adding in a healthy snack with your unhealthy choice can not only balance what you’re putting in your body, but also start to train yourself to crave the healthy food.

Another reason people might be reluctant to make dietary changes could be emotional baggage that weighs people down and makes them less energetic.

“And when we can do some work around clearing that out, addressing what it is that is making us unhappy or feeling kind of heavy in other areas, often times that can really accelerate the path to losing weight and feeling better,” said Levenson.

The last thing Levenson suggests people do is have accountability partners: friends or family who one can talk with about difficulties, and who can offer encouragements and reminders of goals for losing weight. 

Learn how to keep your resolution to exercise more here.

Learn how to keep your resolution to quit smoking in the new year here.

Learn how to make your resolution to volunteer more stick here.