Remember those failed New Year’s resolutions? February is the best time to restart
By now you’ve either found a method to stick to your New Year’s resolutions or given up completely. If you fall into the latter, experts say February is the perfect month to reset your goals.
Whether it’s routinely going to the gym, eating better or meditating before bed, there’s no hard rule that says resolutions must start in January.
Registered dietitian Nicole Osinga of Courtice, Ont., says for nutrition in particular, continue cooking more and eating out less.
“Food that is made at home is going to be healthier than any food you buy out,” she tells Global News.
Other easy “fixes” include bringing a water bottle to work to stay hydrated (and not confuse thirst with hunger) and eating high fibre and protein breakfasts to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Personal trainer Amanda Thebe of Fit & Chips of Toronto, says for fitness, it’s not necessary to make goals for the year.
“Instead I think people should look at their life as a whole to identify areas that need to change,” she tells Global News.
“Then changing smaller habits by making just a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle and sticking with them consistently, you will find that big changes will evolve, pushing you closer to your health goals.”
Below, Osinga and Thebe give tips on how to stick to your fitness and nutrition resolutions for the rest of the year.
Revisit your goals
Why didn’t your goals work out in the first place? Osinga says the key to making smart goals is making them specific, realistic and achievable.
“Once each goal is achieved, you can build on them, to make them bigger goals.”
She says if your goal is to cut down on sugar, for example, start with cutting down on your intake of pop. Once you’ve achieved that goal, move on to another source of sugar.
“Cutting all sugar out of your diet at once may not work, as the goal isn’t realistic to start with. The reason why you dropped your resolutions may have more to do with the goals you set, instead of your willpower.”
Thebe recommends a more comprehensive goal: “Instead of looking at a specific number of pounds to lose, why not aim to be in a smaller dress size, or to be doing a certain number of pushups? That take the stress out of the number on the scale.”
Thebe says if you are setting goals, make sure you are tracking them.
“Goals are easier to maintain if you both track them and measure them. Even a cross mark on your daily calendar to show you have adhered to your plan can be motivating. Measuring your success along the way can show your progress, even when you are having a bad day.”
Celebrate small successes
If you only focus on reaching your goals by December 2018, you’re going to feel discouraged, Osinga says.
“Make sure that you recognize your small accomplishments … such as being able to include a high protein breakfast into your weekly routine. This will prevent you from getting discouraged.”
Assess your behaviour
“If you have an outcome or results goal, you’ll need to work on a daily basis on the behaviour you need to change to make that goal a reality,” Thebe adds.
This means actually examining your behaviours and pinpointing the ones you need to change. If your end goal is to save money for a vacation, for example, you may want to assess how often you’re spending money eating out.
Why do you want to change?
Osinga says you will hit barriers along the way that will challenge your resolutions.
“When you’re working on changing your eating, you’re going to run into some challenges. You might not feel like prepping your meals for the week, because you’ve been away all weekend,” she says. “When challenges like this arise, it is best to remind yourself why you are wanting to make your changes.”
She suggests writing down three reasons and looking back at them every time you hit a rut.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.