It’s that time of year again! It seems like everybody knows someone making one of those classic resolutions: lose 10 pounds, stop eating sugar, start working out five times a week– Sound familiar?
This year we’re making the anti-New Year’s resolution: don’t make resolutions that don’t add to your happiness! To give you a better idea of what we mean, we’ve invited our friend Jennipher Walters, CEO and Co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls LLC and Co-author of “The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet: 10-Minute Fixes to Get the Body You Want and a Life You’ll Love” to help us make smarter New Year’s resolutions.
TCR: Do you recommend making big health resolutions at New Year’s? (Why or why not?)
JW: I always encourage people to dream big, but when it comes to making health changes, I recommend for them to go ahead and set a huge goal and visualize themselves reaching it … and then break it down into tiny itty bitty little goals that build upon each other over time and eventually get you to your bigger goal. It may seem like it takes forever, but setting smaller goals and reaching them builds confidence and keeps your motivation going. Ongoing confidence and motivation is always key for making any sort of life change, but it’s the piece we tend to not focus on — especially in early January when it feels like you’re on top of the world and can do anything.
TCR: What’s your #1 piece of advice for people making huge health resolutions and/or diet resolutions?
JW: Make SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals. More on how to do that here. And find your deep inner why. Why do you want to make a change? Why do you want that? Keep asking yourself why, until you get down to the real reason you want to change (it may be to want to be seen, valued, respected, etc. more than being a certain pant size). Then make a point to connect with that why every single day.
TCR: Why do you think people tend to make such lofty goals during this time of year?
JW: The beginning of the year means a fresh start, and that feeling can be intoxicating! I personally love it (along with my birthday, which I also consider to be a blank page). And we all want to do great things. The trick is taking that New Year motivation and making it last. Real change is hard and unfortunately that big rush of “I can do it” on January 1 may not seem as great as sleeping or getting the fries come end of the month. (Hence the itty bitty goals that are easier to meet and keep you going!)
TCR: Do you have ideas or suggestions for holding yourself accountable for these new goals?
JW: For sure! If you can, get yourself an accountability buddy or group. Someone that you can check in with weekly or daily on your progress, talk through any issues you’re having, share your successes and just emote with. If you don’t have someone in your life who can do that for you, consider joining a Facebook group or find a local group that meets about something you like to do (running, hiking, cycling, etc.). And at the very least, get a planner or notebook of some kind (can be virtual) and track your progress. It’s can be SO motivational to see how much you’ve really changed and done.
TCR: What resolutions would you recommend that would maximize positive results, happiness and balance?
JW: I’m always a big fan of resolving to do a race of some kind, be it a 5K or a marathon. Other ones would be to swap out soda for water, make your snacks veggie based, and take 10 minutes for yourself every day to meditate or just be. Another good one is to resolve to not gossip or participate in fat talk. Resolutions can really be anything you want them to be — just make sure you know the reason you’re making yours and that it comes from a place of self love and respect. After all, you can’t hate yourself healthy!