January 1st always brings with it a feeling of a clean slate. This is definitely true of this New Year! The “Fresh-Start Effect” can be a powerful motivator for creating a new goal or getting back to some healthy habits. The downside to this can be making resolutions based in fear and punishment for some over-indulging that happened over the holidays or throughout quarantine.
Having a restrictive or scarcity mind-set commonly leads to failure. Setting goals with the attitude of self-compassion instead of self-flagellation can lead to more fulfilling, sustainable change. Let’s empower those we work with to begin thinking “what can I add?” instead of “what can I take away?”.
Here are some ideas:
- Eating enough – not skipping meals
- A veggie-based snack
- A new recipe every week
- Protein with breakfast
- Try a high fiber grain such as farro in a recipe that calls for rice
- Take an online dance or Zumba class
- An extra 30 minutes of sleep at night
- An extra cup of herbal tea
- 2 minutes of deep breathing after finishing the work day
- Plan dinners 2 nights of the week and make enough to have leftovers
- Practice mindfulness when eating – Turn off the screen!
We can all capitalize on the fresh-start effect by revisiting goals the 1st of every month. Encourage reflection on the changes made and if they are leading to the desired results. If not, start again!
Angela Esherick, RD, LDN, CDE