New Years Resolutions... Blah Blah Blah.
Wow, that's harsh Brooke, you may be saying to yourself. Don’t you care about self-improvement? Better health?
Of course I do. As a sports dietitian, every interaction I have with my clients includes realistic goal setting. Key word here is REALISTIC. Other key word here is GOAL. Which brings us to the question of the day – what is the difference between a resolution and a goal?
Now I’m not an expert in linguistics, but my feeling is that resolutions tend to be all or nothing. Extreme. Drastic. Difficult to sustain.
I will eliminate all carbs from my diet.
I will cut out wine.
I will lose 30 pounds by March.
I will have 10 servings of veggies per day.
I prefer the term “goal” instead of resolution. Goals can be awesome when executed in the right way. Realistic. Attainable. Sustainable. They set you up for SUCCESS instead of FAILURE.
I will scale back on grain carbs, focusing more on fruit and vegetable carb sources.
I will limit wine to 3 glasses per week.
I will decrease body fat by 2% by end of March.
I will include a vegetable with 2 of my meals per day.
Once you’ve developed these realistic, attainable goals, keep the following 4 things in mind when it comes to nutrition goal setting.
1) IT WON'T BE EASY.
Goals worth meeting won’t be met overnight. You’ve heard this before and it’s 100% true- there is no quick fix when it comes to nutrition. There are 100 bad food choices for every good choice. It takes work, it takes preparation; it is a shift in mentality leading to a lifestyle change. There are no shortcuts that produce the long-term results you are looking for. You can meet your goals, but you must WORK for it.
2) FIND YOUR MOTIVATORS TO STAY ON TRACK OVER THE LONG HAUL.
365 days is a long time. It's easy to be motivated on January 2, but how do you retain that drive all year? Visualize your success. Go ahead and feel the emotions of crossing that finish line feeling amazing. Or fitting into your “skinny” jeans. Or improving your blood work parameters to go off that medication. Elation, success, confidence. Feeling these emotions before your goals are met will help you stay on track.
3) YOU'RE GOING TO MESS UP.
Each day is full of choices. We are human beings; we aren't perfect. We are going to make progress and then slide back down that hill again. And that's ok. Each morning starts again, a clean slate. If you regress on those goals, get back on the wagon again. Don't let your wrong turn derail you, leading to more bad choices.
4) DON'T LET THE SCALE RUN YOUR LIFE.
I’m going to level with you. You probably aren’t ever going to weigh again what you weighed in high school or college. AND THAT’S OK! Your adult body is different from your teenage body. Focus on body composition over the number on the scale. Remember that you are an athlete, which means you have loads of muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. If you feel good about yourself and fit into your clothes, try try TRY to let the number go.
Goals are essential to life, whether it be work, personal, family, training, financial, or nutrition/health. If you need some help developing or implementing your nutrition goals, give me a shout out. And to leave you with a last definition… Make 2016 Annus Mirabilis!!