New Year Resource Rundown

Lots of people choose the new year as a time to start fresh. Here are some great links to help you offer your clients everything they need to make 2015 the best year yet!

New Year’s Resolutions:

General Health:

Exercise:

Weight Management:

Resources for You:

And, of course, there’s more in the store!

Resolutions for 2017

Early each year every website, television newscast, and magazine at the grocery checkout offers advice on New Year’s resolutions. Most of these involve eating a better diet and getting or staying healthy. It’s almost obligatory that I post about making a new start to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.

But, do you really want to read more about what you should or shouldn’t do, eat or drink?

Most people already know, or they won’t be making those resolutions. Our local newspaper projected that only 8% of all resolutions are kept.

The real key to resolutions is how to make them stick. If I ask in a month, will you still be “working on them?”

The experts say that in order to turn good intentions into long-term actions, you need to set small goals that you can keep. These small changes can add up. Other suggestions include making the goals specific. Don’t choose vague goals like “eat more fruits and vegetables” but instead choose something that is measurable and concrete, “cook one vegetable each night for dinner.” Another key to keeping resolutions is to write them down.

It may also be useful to change the title.

Instead of “New Year’s resolutions,” make them “Resolutions for the Year.” Think about of doing one new thing each month. Then, at the end of the year you’ll have 12 new habits and a more healthful lifestyle. Develop achievable goals based on the changes you’d like to make for yourself.

Here’s another tip: instead of making one long list, write a goal on the first day of each month on your new calendar or in your phone. That way, you’ll see it at the beginning of each month. Do something new each month, but don’t forget to keep going on the goal from the previous month(s).  You’ll just keep “adding on” each month.

Simple changes and goals can go a long way to making a big difference in your health.

Next year at this time, if someone asks whether you kept your resolutions from last year you’ll be able to say, “yes, 12 of them.”

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Motivation Tip: Use a Reward Chart

Reward Chart Poster

One of the most popular tools in my nutrition educator’s bag of tricks is a good reward chart. It helps with motivation, makes it easier to celebrate important milestones, and adds a sense of fun to a new endeavor.

That’s why I created the Reward Chart poster. I wanted a resource that would help people focus on important health goals, and it has been flying off the shelves since its introduction to the store.

Today, because I love ya, I’m giving away the handout that comes with this poster, for free.

Yes, you read that right!

In order to further boost motivation, the Reward Chart poster comes with a simple handout about selecting rewards and the evaluating the impact of healthful choices. I’ve copied that information below and slipped in a free downloadable PDF of the handout too…

Choosing Rewards:

When it comes to choosing rewards for your achievements, it’s important to choose options that will encourage your efforts. Skip food or drink rewards. Instead, try one of these options…

  • High FiveHand weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mat
  • Swim goggles
  • Running shoes
  • Movie passes
  • New cooking equipment
  • Sharp knife
  • Colorful cutting board
  • Nonstick skillets
  • Fresh herbs
  • New spices
  • New workout clothes
  • iPod or other digital music device
  • A deposit in a savings account for a vacation
  • A trip to a museum or art exhibit

The Benefits of Your Decision:

There are tons of benefits to good health.

A balanced diet and exercise plan will reduce your risk of…

  • Family JogDiabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

At the same time, making healthful diet and exercise choices will provide the following benefits…

  • Increased stamina
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Increased flexibility
  • Stronger bones
  • Higher energy levels

Congratulations on starting down the road to good health.

You can do it!

And, as promised, here is the PDF handout that’s (usually) only available to people who already bought the Reward Chart poster. I hope you like it!

Reward Chart Handout

Last but not least, we have some other great resources in the Nutrition Education Store — they’re sure to give your clients a motivation boost!

Save Calories with 7 Simple Steps Poster

Reward Chart Sheet

Poster: How Much to Work it Off?

Goals for 2015

New Year’s Eve is only 2 weeks away! Are your clients ready to jump-start their health goals?

ResolutionsTo help your clients set achievable goals that they are excited to pursue, consider this advice, excerpted from the Communicating Food for Health member newsletter

What kind of goals are you setting?

Unrealistic Goals:

Don’t jump the gun and ask too much of yourself. If you do this, you’ll be starting down an unsustainable and unhealthful path. Make sure the unsustainable goals below aren’t on YOUR list…

  • Exercising every day.
  • Never go out to eat.
  • No snacking or desserts.
  • A strict diet that eliminates macronutrients or whole food groups.
  • Skipping breakfast or lunch daily.

Choose realistic goals instead! Here are some examples…

Realistic Goals:

Realistic goals can be challenging, but should be achievable. Look for ways to improve your lifestyle, diet, and activities. Not all at once, mind you. Start slowly and keep steady. How? Try one of these…

  • Losing 1-2 pounds per month.
  • Exercising for 5-6 days per week.
  • Try new-to-you healthful foods.
  • Find satisfying, low-calorie snacks.
  • Follow MyPlate’s advice and enjoy your food, but eat less of it.

Need a reminder? Here is the 2015 Goal Guide — free! Distribute it however you see fit.

2015 Goal Guide

 

There are more motivation and goal resources in the Nutrition Education Store. Make sure you’re ready for 2015!

Online Wellness and Weight Management Program

Ways to Lose Weight Poster

Healthful Lifestyle: How to Get Started PowerPoint

Fruit and Vegetable Montage Print

Healthful Resolution Ideas

Some healthy resolutions

Have you broken your resolution before you really made it?  If you’re serious about starting the year off on the right foot I have an idea.

How about 12 attainable resolutions?  I always wonder why resolutions have to be large goals (like lose 100 pounds) or doing something major “cold turkey” (like stopping smoking).  I’m thinking resolutions should be something you could add to your life and small things that you really could do.

How about “add-on” resolutions?  Something like the 12 days of Christmas—Only I’m making it the 12 months of health (someone sing).  The idea is to change one small thing each month and then keep that accomplishment and add another the next month.

The idea is you start with one in January—say it’s getting more activity—it could be walking one night after dinner with your spouse or joining a one-day-a week-yoga class.  It doesn’t have to be 5 days a week to get you started.

February—add another goal but still keep up what you started in January. In February (since it is heart month) learn a little more about the sodium in the foods you eat. Read labels and work to reduce the amount of sodium you take in. Try to eat the recommended 2300 mg (or less of sodium) every day—and still do the January goal too.

March—add something else.  But the January and February changes should almost be a habit by then so keep it up.

Write it down.   Write your goal for each month in your new calendar right now.  Is it really a serious resolution if you haven’t spelled it out?  Reevaluate at the beginning of each month on how it’s going.

Here are 12 ideas you could incorporate into your life….if you already do some of these add your own or make them more specific for you.

  1. Add some activity to your life.  The ultimate goal would be at least 30 minutes every day of the week. But start smaller. Find something you like to do and keep it up.
  2. Pack a healthy lunch—if you eat out most days for lunch –switch to just 3 days a week and pack a lunch the other two. You’ll save money but could also have a more nutritious lunch.
  3. Eat dinner with the family—without the distraction of television or phone at least 1-2 nights a week. Research shows that families that eat together eat less fat, more fruits and vegetables and more dairy.  It’s also a great way to build strong family relationships.
  4. Eat breakfast –If you’re not a breakfast eater start with just a few days a week. Breakfast eaters are more alert, creative, perform better and are less likely to be overweight.
  5. Eat more fruit-make your goal to eat 1 piece or “extra piece” each day. You might even make it a challenge to find new fruit to try out.
  6. Eat more vegetables— Work to get a vegetable or one more vegetable into your diet each day—or if you can’t eat more each day try for at least a couple a week. Look for new mixtures in the freezer section of your grocery store.
  7. Watch less television—this is here because research has shown that people who watch less television weigh less.  Adults who watch more than 2 hours of television a day tend to weigh more than those who watch less.
  8. Eat less fast food –studies have found that those who eat at fast food restaurants more than two times a week were 10 pounds heavier than those who ate there less than once a week.
  9. Cut every restaurant meal in half…enjoy it twice. There are always opportunities to eat out. Instead of totally avoiding your favorites or time with friends and family ask for a take-out container when you get your meal and take it home for another meal.
  10. Eat more whole grains—Recommendations are to eat at least six servings of grain every day.  Half of them should be a whole-grain.
  11. Go meatless—how about a meatless Monday?  This could save you calories, money, saturated fat, increase fruits and vegetables, not to mention more variety.
  12.  Fill everyone’s plate at the stove instead of family-style on the table. This will help control portion sizes and overeating…just because it’s there (also less dishes to wash).

These are my ideas.  You know your diet and your health. What little changes can you make each month that may make a big difference at the end of the year?

I admit…you probably can’t do them all or all the time.  Be realistic.  But maybe try some.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Try these popular education topics:

Nutrition Posters

Employee Health Programs

Nutrition Education Handouts