A NEW New Year’s Resolution

January 11, 2022

by tiffany ricci, rdn

You’ve probably heard friends, family members, or coworkers resolve to lose weight or get in shape when the new year starts. Maybe you’ve even vowed to do the same. And while those are noble aspirations, you’re more likely to stick with a resolution that delivers quick success and lends to positive results over time.

Here are a few small changes that can have you feeling great about your resolution and will yield healthy dividends as we roll through 2022:

Add 3 servings of vegetables. Each day, decide to add three servings of vegetables to improve your overall nutrition, assist with weight loss, and provide an abundance of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Look at your day and plan to add a serving with lunch and two servings with dinner. 

What constituents as a serving of veggies? A serving is one-half cup of cooked veggies such as cooked carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or green beans or 1 cup of raw veggies including cherry tomatoes, snap peas, carrots, and celery. 

Adding nutrition to your overall diet is a resolution that you can quickly succeed at and make the change a long-standing habit.

Snag the furthest parking spot. Getting in extra physical activity throughout the day adds up. It’s NEAT, really (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). It’s not so much as checking off a box, but a way of being active outside of your exercise routine. The more you move, the more you use the energy you take in. 

NEAT is more than just parking far away. Examples include taking the stairs, fidgeting, playing with your kids, standing up at your desk or on the phone, and shopping for groceries - at the store, not online. 

Commit to one form of NEAT every day; such as parking further from work, taking the stairs, or chasing your kiddos around the kitchen island. The more you do this, the more it becomes second nature. You’ll find yourself more active by the end of 2022 - without adding a single minute to your gym routine.

Power down an hour before bedtime. Sleep is so important. Adequate sleep helps our bodies repair, boosts our immunity, contributes to productivity, improves our mood, strengthens our heart, and helps with our memory. Despite all of these benefits, it seems more and more difficult to get to bed on time. 

A good bedtime routine can lead to better sleep. Slowing down with our work, chores, and screen time should be part of that routine. Determine when you need to go to bed (dictated by when you need to get up) and schedule the hour before that time to be the “power down” time. The first step of your power down should be actually getting ready for bed. Change into your jammies, brush your teeth, wash your face, etc. This way you are READY for bed. The simple act of dressing for bed can cue your brain and body to follow suit. 

This resolution can take some time, but I assure you - it’s one worth pursuing. 

Stick with these small changes over the year and you’ll find that by the end of 2022, you’re a healthier version of you. These little changes add up over time and can help with bigger long-term resolutions such as “losing weight" or “getting in shape.”

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