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ARE YOUR ‘HEALTHY’ NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DOOMED TO FAIL? HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR GOALS FOR 2020
When January hits, it’s easy to tell yourself that last year’s holiday treats and days of sitting on the couch marathoning Hallmark Christmas movies are things of the past. Every time a new year arrives, a fresh start comes with it, which is probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, particularly for health and fitness. That said, it’s hard to ignore the dismal statistics. According to U.S. News & World Report, a heartbreaking 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So, what are we doing wrong? Diet and exercise experts suggest it might not be the concept of making resolutions that’s faulty, but the particular resolutions we choose. To set yourself up for success in 2020, check out these smart resolution swaps below. DON’T RESOLVE TO EAT LESS. DO RESOLVE TO EAT MORE VEGGIES. The goal to “eat less” is not only vague (where does one start?) but it can also lead to disordered eating when taken too far. Instead, try setting yourself up for a healthy long- term diet by eating more of a nutrient-dense food group. Your vitamin intake will go up, and you’ll be too full to eat that second slice of cake. “We’re big fans of goals that start with ‘eat more,’” Lauren Slayton, the director of the nutrition counseling service Foodtrainers, told TheHealthy.com. If you already have plenty of vegetables in your diet but are still struggling to eat healthily, try resolving to eat more fruit and probiotic foods, or drink more water. DON’T RESOLVE TO LOSE WEIGHT. DO RESOLVE TO REACH A HEALTHY BODY FAT PERCENTAGE. As the body-positivity movement is constantly reminding us, there is no one-size-fits-all number on the scale we should strive for. Depending on factors like age, gender, and height, one person’s healthy, ideal weight can be another person’s underweight or overweight. Instead of resolving
to lose a set number of pounds this year, aim to bring your body fat percentage into the “fitness” range for your gender and age group. Websites like BMI-Calories.com can help you calculate your current body fat and give you a reasonable goal to shoot for. DON’T RESOLVE TO GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP. DO RESOLVE TO GO TO BED 15 MINUTES EARLIER. It’s hard to change a habit, which is why most people who set ambitious sleep goals are doomed to fail. If you normally go to bed at midnight but need to hit the sack at 10 p.m. in order to get your full eight hours, it will be extremely difficult to shift your routine overnight to make that happen. Instead, try resolving to go to bed just 15 minutes earlier. Such a small change to your routine should be easier to stick to, and once you have a streak going, you can move your goal back another 15 minutes until you reach the ideal amount of rest! DON’T RESOLVE TO BE MORE ORGANIZED. DO RESOLVE TO MEDITATE EVERY DAY. Resolving to get organized without a road map to get there is setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve always been prone to clutter and procrastination, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to change your decades-long habits and become a neat freak all
at once. Instead, focus on one area of your life you want to organize, like keeping your desk mess-free, or resolve to change your mindset by adding meditation to your daily routine. According to psychology professor Susan K. Whitbourne, mental and physical clutter are psychologically linked. If you can get your mind organized with a few minutes of peaceful meditation
each day, it will be easier to manage the rest of your life.
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