How to Reignite Your New Year’s Resolutions
Reignite your New Year’s resolutions and get back on track over the next nine months with a PLAN.
This post is sponsored by Sargento Foods. I was compensated for my time and received samples of their Natural Cheese Snacks. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already three months into the New Year (can we even still refer to 2016 as a new year?!). For many of us, March is a cold, dreary month – there’s snow on the ground, many days of below freezing temperatures, and no exciting holidays to celebrate. If you’re cuddled up on the sofa hibernating these days, you may be doing more eating and drinking and less physical activity, which may just be getting in the way of those New Year’s resolutions you made back in January. What better time than now to stop and evaluate these resolutions.
Give yourself a quick pat on the back for the steps forward you’ve made and move on to reaching the rest of your goals for the year. While three months have passed, there are still nine more to go! To help you reignite your New Year’s resolutions, I have one key word for you to remember: PLAN.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a planner. You can even see it here at Nutritioulicious when I share my Menu Plan Monday posts every week. To help you get into the planning mentality and move forward with your 2016 resolutions, I’ve come up with a simple acronym:
- Lay out the steps
- Never look back
You may have a lot of goals on your list, but they can’t all be of equal importance, otherwise you won’t get any of them done. Focus on your top three goals and make sure they’re SMART (you can read more about what that means and how to do that in my 2015 post about Getting Back on Track).
Of course as a registered dietitian nutritionist, one of the goals I think people need to prioritize is to eat better, which to me entails following the MyPlate breakdown for a balanced plate, eating mindfully by eating when hungry and stopping when full, eating regular meals and snacks with room for special treats, talking about food in a positive way and refraining from a “good” and “bad” dichotomy, and enjoying food that’s nutritious and delicious!
One component I mentioned here is something people often find difficult, and that’s snacking. Some of the questions I get asked are: What is a healthy snack? What are easy snacks to have at the office or on the go when picking up the kids from school?
Nutritious, balanced, satiating snacks should include some combination of protein, fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates. A few of my favorite snack components that fit this bill are string cheese, apples, clementines, bell pepper sticks, cucumber rounds, baby carrots, simply seasoned air-popped popcorn, roasted chickpeas, and raw almonds and pistachios. As far as portable snack items, many of these are easy to take along with you, especially if you plan in advance and have them ready to go in resealable bags.
One of the easiest and most nutritious portable snacks, in my opinion, is string cheese. Personally I love the Sargento® Natural Cheese Snacks because they are a natural source of protein – with 4 to 8 grams of protein per serving, they keep me and my family fueled and satisfied, especially when we’re on the go. They also come in 14 delicious varieties, all of which are wholesome and full of flavor – no sacrificing on taste, which, as I mentioned, is included in my definition of eating better!
Some of the varieties I love are the Natural String Cheese (that’s the one with 8 grams of protein, which is more per serving than a hard-boiled egg!), Reduced Fat Colby-Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Pepper Jack. Pair the Cheese Snack of your choice with fruit, vegetables, popcorn, or whole grain crackers and you have a convenient, well-balanced snack. You can get more snack ideas and pairings at Sargento.com/snacks.
Lay Out the Steps
Now that you know which goals are most important to you, plan out the steps you need to achieve them. Don’t just do this in your head – write them down, add reminders to your smart phone, tell a friend who you trust to remind you of your goals. If one of your goals is to exercise more, sign up for that non-refundable class at the gym and lay out your gym clothes the night before to save time – and make it to class on time – in the morning.
A key part of achieving the goals you set is analyzing what you have and have not achieved, what helped or hindered your achievements, and what next steps you can take to keep moving forward. Not taking the time to assess where you’re at may be to blame for your lack of headway, so now’s the time to do it.
Never look back
Ok, I know I just said you should analyze how you’re doing with your resolutions, which basically requires looking back at what you have done so far. But what I mean here is that once you’ve assessed what has and has not been working, don’t dwell on what hasn’t worked. Rather, put your best foot forward to accomplish your goals in the way that has been working for you.
If you take some time to PLAN, I know you can reignite your New Year’s resolutions and reach them within the next nine months.
How are you doing with your 2016 resolutions?
How do you keep the fire going to achieve them?
Great points Jessica. Planning is so crucial! I have been a little off the path, so I needed this myself! I haven’t ever tried those cheese sticks, I’ll have to check them out!
Thank you Liz! I hope it helps you get back on track – I need to take my advice as well, the winter hibernation has certainly taken a toll on me! Hope you find the Sargento cheese sticks – they’re so delish and a snack you can certainly feel good about!
It’s all about planning. I’m actually working on a snacking post right now and I find that it is almost more confusing than meals to people – is snacking healthy? When should I eat them? What should I eat? Won’t they make me gain weight? You spelled it out very clearly here and I agree, string cheese is such a great option. And it’s nice to see a NY resolution post in March as I feel like that’s REALLY when we need to talk about them (and/or revisit them 🙂
Thanks so much for your comment Deanna! Snacking is confusing for all the reasons you mentioned. I hope my answers help break through some of the confusion. And yes, about resolutions needing the most talk once the New Year is in full swing. Look forward to seeing your snack post soon!
I love this!! Yay for planning! …and I love that it’s an acronym… PLAN. Thanks for the advice 🙂
Thanks so much. Planning is my jam and it was fun to come up with an acronym for it!
Great post Jessica- I love your PLAN acronym! I had 2 major resolutions/goals for 2016. The first was to get serious about fitness and so for Pete and I are kicking butt with our 21 Day Fix Extreme and P90X3 workouts. We’ve definitely made it a “Priority” and we’ve “Laid out” a very specific plan. The pre- and post- photos are a great way to “Analyze” our progress. We both turned 40 in 2015 and think we’re in the best shapes of our lives! The 2nd goal was to do a major blog overhaul, probably switching from Blogger to WordPress. I’m pretty intimidated by this one, the thought of getting started is a bit overwhelming. But hey, I sill have a lot of time to get it done, right? 😉 How about you? How are your resolutions going?
Thanks so much Sonali – it was fun coming up with that acronym. Thanks for sharing your resolutions for the year. I am so impressed by your achievements with the fitness goal thus far – that’s something I really need to work on. The blog is such an intimidating goal, but once you do it I am sure you will be so excited to be done. One of my big resolutions was to cut back on screen time with all the social sites – I spend way too much time at my computer and on my phone and it affects every part of my life. I was doing really well at the beginning of the year, but it’s time for me to analyze and lay out a new plan!
I always recommend cheese sticks to my clients. It’s a great portion-controlled, low calorie snack with protein!
Agreed Natalie! Glad to know I’m in such good company by recommending them!
Great post! I love Sargento! I probably have 4 or 5 of their cheese varieties in my frig right now 🙂
Thanks Lauren! What’s your favorite variety? I love that they go beyond the plain Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese!
Love this! I have many clients that I can share this tip to PLAN to reignite their New Years resolutions.. and for myself included!
So glad it will help you with your clients Julie! And of course yourself too 😉
I love the idea of a PLAN. I resolved to really think through exactly how I would wear/use something before making a purchase. It’s going really well – I find myself buying so much less in general. But it’s always good to reevaluate (or Analyze!) since around now I tend to get lazy with follow through!
Thanks so much Amelia! That’s such a great resolution – I’ve actually been trying to be better about that too (although I haven’t really shopped much for myself lately – have more fun shopping for my girls!). Glad it’s going well for you!
Planning is key for me. If I don’t I’ll get stressed and back bad choices.
My resolution was to actually try to find ways to embrace the flow of life and not get so crazy in my plans- haha!
I love cheese as a snack too- great options!
I’m the same way Julie! That’s an interesting resolution to embrace taking things in stride – how is that going for you? I imagine that would be quite difficult. Hope it’s been successful so far!
This is a great strategy and I love how you really emphasize moving forward rather than dwelling on the past. I can definitely see that the novelty of fitness is wearing off as we head into March (the gym here went from frantic to me enjoying private TV time on the treadmill despite it being horrible outside!), so it is definitely a good time to reevaluate. I need to do this with diet as I haven’t been feeling as energized lately!
Thanks Alisa! It’s easy to get caught up in the past, which only holds us back from moving forward even more. It’s always interesting to see how the craziness at gyms dies down as the year moves along, probably until the summer months when everyone gears up again for bathing suit season! Good luck with reevaluating your diet goals for the year!
Planning is important… but if you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person it’s helpful to have healthy snacks in the fridge and pantry to rely on. Cheese is one of my go-to snacks!
Yes, this is so true Janice. I know a lot of people aren’t planners, but even having healthy snacks on hand is a matter of planning, so hopefully they can do that much to help themselves in the long run!
These are fantastic tips, and ones I will share with my clients. It is so easy to let the New Year “flame” quickly burn out…
Thanks so much Heather! Hope they help your clients.