Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | 9:26 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments


With assistance from Northeastern graduate student Melissa Pryputniewicz

A new year brings the hope and promise of new starts. This makes it the perfect time for people to make resolutions to change certain behaviors. But even with good intentions many people don’t succeed in keeping their resolutions. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that only half of the people who made a resolution stuck with it after six months. So you may be asking, what are the keys to success?

Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Waterson
Make Resolutions Realistic and Specific
Many people make big resolutions like "I want to lose weight," or "I want to eat healthier." While these goals highlight positive changes, they are not very specific. Instead trying reframing your goals into more specific terms. Not only will this help you measure when you have achieved a goal, but it also gives you a clear plan of action for starting to work on the resolution.

Break Big Goals Into Smaller Ones
This tip is along the same lines as the tip above. If your goal is too broad it can seem impossible to reach two weeks into January. Try breaking the large goal into smaller goals. Doing so will create a sense of achievement with every small goal that is met, which will keep you motivated on reaching that big goal!

Use Smartphone Apps
There are countless apps available for free on both iPhone and Android devices to help you keep track of your resolutions. If your resolution is to eat healthier, try MyNetDiary a free calorie counter and food diary. Cardio Trainer allows the user to keep track of all of their workouts, for those of you who are trying to increase your physical activity. Trying to save money this year? You can try Mint or Pocket Budget; both can help you keep track of your spending. Be sure to check out all of the options available!

Tell a Friend
Telling a friend, family member or co-worker helps you stick to a resolution in two ways. First, it gives you someone to be accountable to. It is very easy to give up when making any lifestyle change, but having someone check in on your progress every so often makes you more likely to stick to your resolution. Second, it gives you someone to lean on during the process. A person you can talk to about your frustrations and success to.

Reward Yourself
For every goal you meet, big or small, reward yourself for your achievement. By rewarding yourself you are acknowledging that you have been successful which is gratifying. The reward can also serve as motivation when you are in the thick of changing your habits. The reward can be anything, from a new outfit to treating yourself to movie tickets. And maybe think of an extra special reward for when you have made your resolution part of your daily life!

Remember, it takes time to make even the smallest changes become everyday habits. But the end result is going to lead to a happy and healthier you!

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Melissa Pryputniewicz is a graduate student of nutritionist Christine Clark in the MS in Applied Nutrition program through the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University.

Nutritionist Christine Clark works with Dining Services to provide you with tips and techniques to stay healthy during your time at Northeastern. If you have any further questions about this topic or are looking for more information about any other nutrition or diet topic, such as food allergies or sports nutrition, please contact her at christine.clark2@compass-usa.com.

References:
  1. Norcross J, Mrykalo M, Blagys M. "Auld Lang Syne: Success Predictors, Change Processes and Self-Reported Outcomes of New Year’s Resolvers." Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2002; 58(4): 397-405.

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