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May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions

I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to exercise every day. I’m going to go on a diet and stick to it – is that cake? Sound familiar?

It seems every year, around the New Year, we set goals with every intention of keeping them, but many of us can’t seem to stick to them longer than a few months at most.

Changes in diet and exercise seem to be popular goals people make every year – we all want to be healthier.

Why wait? Why not start to make changes in, say, the middle of the year?

On why people tend to wait until Jan. 1 to try to make diet changes, Jessica Begg, a registered dietitian at Shift Nutrition, had some insight to offer.

I think that in the context of making New Year’s resolutions, people choose to make positive changes at this time,” said Begg.

“Healthy changes to diet are at the top of the list. This is also timely as most people are coming from lots of holiday parties and family engagements. This makes taking care of your health prior to the New Year difficult.

“January becomes a good time to refocus in that area.”

So, we know the good intentions are there, but why can’t we seem to stick to our goals?

According to the lifehack.org article Ten Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail, it’s because people treat a marathon like a sprint.

If your goal is to lose weight, don’t follow a super restrictive plan that makes you super unhappy – instead, start with something easy and add onto it each week.

Lofty goals are difficult to sustain,” said Begg.

“Drastic changes to ingrained patterns will be destined for failure. Small changes are very effective as you can build on these, and more importantly you are more likely to keep them up throughout the year.”

An example of this is cutting out sugar. Instead of trying to cut out sugar completely, try to go from 10 chocolate bars a day to nine and then the next week, cut it down to seven.

We need to develop a mentality for change in order to be able to accomplish our goals.

“Change is slow, so take your time,” said Begg.

“Change is also difficult, so be easy on yourself.”

It will most likely be hard in the beginning, but if you give it time and are persistent, you can achieve your goals.

One way SAIT students can achieve the goal of eating healthier is to “learn to cook, and cook often,” said Begg.

“Learning how to cook some meals you enjoy, so that you can have a habit of cooking at home, goes a long way.”

You don’t have to wait until the arbitrary date of Jan. 1 to make changes to your life, whatever they may be.

A year from now you may wish you’d started today.

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