By:  Leanne Henwood-Adam, Fitness Coordinator, Humber College, North Campus

Happy New Year!

A new year – a new you? Are you one of the many who make New Year’s Resolutions only to give up on them within a month of starting them? You are not alone. A new year brings promise of making positive changes – a whole new year lies ahead of us like a blank slate and this traditionally has been the time of year to make healthy changes.

Here are five simple tricks can help make those resolutions a reality:

  1. Resolutions are really goals. Make your goal a SMART goal. That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. Pay particular attention to being SPECIFIC – you don’t want to just lose weight – you want to lose ____ (fill in the blank) pounds in ___ (fill in the blank) months. Also pay attention to REALISTIC – your goal must be realistic – for instance, you cannot safely or realistically lose 30 pounds in one month – that sets you up for failure.
  2. Write it down! Research shows that when you write down a goal, you are more likely to accomplish it.
  3. Make a few short term goals to help you reach your long term goal. If you ultimately want to lose 30 pounds or run a marathon, setting smaller, easier to reach goals that help you on the way to the bigger goal will ensure your success by keeping you motivated. For example, a short term goal might be to increase your vegetable intake to 5 servings per day so that you cut down on eating high calorie “treats” which will assist you to reach the long term weight loss goal.
  4. Start small – don’t try to jump in and do it all at once – slow and steady wins the race! Example – try to do some pushups – each day try to increase that number – before you know it you will be doing more than you ever thought possible OR increase veggie intake by adding in one more serving each day than you currently do and slowly increase.
  5. Always ADD IN to what you are currently doing and do not focus on what you need to take out or stop doing. The moment you tell yourself you cannot have something, that is when your brain tells you to eat it and you tend to binge. Instead focus on adding in the good things and make it rule to eat those first before you allow yourself a treat. This way you change your palette slowly and also fill up on the good stuff first leaving less room for the high calorie low nutrient treats. This works similarly for exercise – focus on adding in movement to your day in small increments and slowly increasing each day.