How to keep my New Year’s resolution, and yours too –  (parenthetically speaking)

(I never make New Year’s resolutions because NEVER is how I keep them.  However, I’m rethinking it this year to resolve to eat healthier based on these tips.)

1. Know who you are . . . and who you’re not

“Do the activities that make you who you want to be rather than just focusing on your goals. Decide the type of person you want to be: A healthy person? A strong person? A writer? A musician?
Then prove it to yourself with small wins over time: Gym classes, writing, practicing . . . Every time you do something toward the goal of you who want to be, tell yourself that you are becoming that person.
(I want to be healthier . . . healthy might be a bit too big a stretch.  And because food is medicine I want to eat healthier)

2.  Make it something you like or enjoy.  

(no problem – I LOVE to eat)

Avoid resolutions that sound great but are unattainable. Make them them something you will enjoy. They can still be hard, but that doesn’t mean they have to make you miserable.

3.  Make it specific
Resolution idea: Eat an apple every day for lunch or snack.
Resolution idea: Have one donut on Saturdays for breakfast
Eating better and exercising more are all nice ideas, but they’re too general and don’t give you a plan of action. People often think they lack motivation when the problem is really a lack of clarity.
“The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION],”

(I’ WILL keep a bowl of fruit on the counter and cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator.  I DO NOT ENJOY chopping vegetables so I’ll buy them already cut-up.

When I want to eat my go-to sugar with a side of carbohydrates I WILL EAT A PIECE OF FRUIT OR VEGETABLE.)

8 x 8 inch canvas – very small fruit by judy

4. Change it up. Swap it out. Write your own rules
Instead of one year-long resolution set yourself monthly micro-resolutions.

(I might have to break it down into weekly . . . or daily . . . maybe hourly resolutions since I eat all day and all night)

5.  Start Small
(I’m going to eat small pieces of healthy fruit and vegetables).

6.  Allow yourself to fail

“Everyone screws up. Expect to have occasional slips. But don’t let the occasional missed exercise class or donut throw you off course. Most successful resolvers slip in January, but 71% of successful resolvers say their first slip strengthened their efforts through a combination of guilt, increasing awareness of their problem’s severity, and the slip reminding them to refine their plans.”  (Who ARE these people?)

And if you do slip? Focus on getting back on track, not the slip. “The people who show more compassion for themselves are more likely to get back on the horse and try again.”  (This might be a problem since I show compassion for myself by eating sweets.)

7.  Set yourself up for success

(Since I want to “limit” sweets I must get them out of the house. I resolve: I WILL give them a stern talking to EVERY TIME they appear so they know they should leave.)

8.  Make it public
(I just did)

“If you’re surrounded by supportive friends and family, making your goals public and asking for accountability can help. So can joining a gym with friendly competition or a group.”

(Probably the key to my past failures at keeping resolutions starts with the fact I prove myself right by thinking I can’t/won’t keep my resolve.)

“Think you can’t do it, you’ll likely prove yourself right.  But if you believe in yourself, you are 10 times more likely to change via a New Year’s resolution, compared to non-resolvers, when both groups have comparable goals and motivation”.*

*University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross, who has studied resolutions for decades.

9 comments on “How to keep my New Year’s resolution, and yours too –  (parenthetically speaking)

  1. Love this action plan!!
    I wanted to THANK YOU for the email about the green light!
    I still haven’t gotten them, but I’m going to!! As soon as we’re settled and I can get Stuart to focus long enough to do so. (moving is hard)
    Did you notice the study was done here in Tucson?
    Small world.
    Thank you again.
    Good luck on eating healthier.
    Something I too need to do. xo


    • Wendy,
      Thank you for taking time to comment during all the turmoil of the move and its impact on your well-being. (I read your last post). Let me know what happens with the green light after you get it and try it.
      with love,
      P.S. since posting I’ve now gained 4 pounds – yikes I think I rebel against my own intentions (there’s no one else to rebel against at my age . . .)


  2. Wanted to also say how much I love the painting. I think you’re channeling your inner Cezanne, Judy, and that’s wonderful. He had a unique view of the world as well as enormous talent, and so do you. The humor in this article made me giggle – giggling is good.


  3. This is a great approach to the New Year, or any year. Eight small and doable steps to being healthier and achieving what’s really important to me. Thanks for showing me a way forward. (But I’m not doing #8.)


  4. Ah have similar resolutions, or goals for the new year… Ie to eat healthier. I slipped off the bandwagon a bit in the last few months by letting myself eat whatever I fancied. BiG mistake. I put on ten unwanted pounds. Ok so now I’m paying for it. I can do it, I can do it! (And if I DO slip, I’ll get right back on track!) 🙂



    • Peta,
      Eating a more healthy diet is very important. I always make sure I have some grass every week. This can be difficult depending on where Judy decides to take me on our walks. I do, however appreciate treats. I always have treats in moderation, because I haven’t figured out how to get to them myself (Judy is better at managing MY diet than her own).
      Freddie Parker Westerfield, D.O.D.
      (dog on diet)

      Liked by 1 person

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