Planning Ahead for a Healthy New Year

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Planning Ahead for a Healthy New Year

By Andrea Chiarchiaro, M.S., RD, LDN
TEIS Registered Dietitian
As this year comes to a close, many of us start to look ahead to the next year think of what we want to accomplish. Maybe you had a great 2015 -Way to go! Many of us feel like we still have a few things we want to work on in 2016.


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Set Concrete, Reasonable, and Realistic Goals

“I want my toddler to eat more vegetables” or “I want to get more sleep” are great goals to have, but they aren’t easy to quantify. By setting more concrete, specific goals and even using more detailed language can help you get to where you want to go. “I’ll offer my child vegetables every night at dinner” or “I’ll turn off the TV and go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night” are much more helpful.

Remember, being realistic is also being kind to yourself! Setting goals that are manageable (“I want to stop drinking soda every day” instead of “I will eliminate all sugar from my diet”) will allow you to achieve your goals more easily, and feel like they are doable instead of insurmountable.

Plan Ahead

Even though January 1 is the unofficial start date for starting healthy habits and those new years’ resolutions, thinking about it ahead of time can really help. Are you trying to lose weight? Eat better? Give yourself a few days before the new year as a trial or soft start to see what it’s like. Even making a plan for yourself (healthy shopping list, exercise date with a friend) can help get your mind set in the right direction. When you’re ready to start making changes, you’ll already be prepared!

Turn “Me” into “We”

Chances are, it’s not just your toddler who needs to eat more vegetables. Including the entire family in goals can be beneficial for everyone. Healthier eating isn’t just “Mom’s diet,” it becomes healthier meals for the whole family. Including everyone when you’re trying to exercise or sleep more will pay off for the whole family, and provides more support and a feeling of team spirit. Getting everyone involved can help you see your goals or resolutions as something that makes everyone’s life happier and healthier.

Happy New Year!