Step-by-Step Resolutions

Get healthier this year one step at a time.

Let me guess, the New Year is right around the corner and you’ve committed to – nothing!  Hey, I don’t blame you.  Most of us have experienced our fair share of failed resolutions. But if you’re committed to improving your health, maybe the key to not breaking your resolution is in breaking up your resolution.  That’s right, rather than one big overhaul starting January 2, commit to initiating smaller, manageable, healthy habits throughout the New Year.  Start by developing a list of small healthy habits that you’d like to make.  Rather than starting them all at once, pick one and develop it over the course of 4 weeks.  After 4 weeks, you’re ready to add a new habit.  The list is completely up to you and it can evolve as the year progresses.  To help you start developing your list, here are some ideas:

  1. Watch less TV.  It’s not TV that’s bad, but the mindless munching that typically coincides.  Try trading 30 minutes of TV for a book, a phone conversation, writing a letter, or playing a game.
  2. Get more shut-eye.  Regular, quality sleep helps regulate your metabolism and hormones to help you lose weight and stay healthy.  So commit to going to bed 15 minutes earlier each week so that by the end of the month, you’re racking up an additional hour each night.
  3. Pack your lunch daily.  An extra 10 minutes each day practically guarantees a lower calorie meal.  Even cutting your frequency of eating out from 5 days per week down to 2 or 3 can save thousands of calories, not to mention dollars.
  4. Take 5!  You know that the longer you sit at your computer the less productive your brain is.  So commit to getting up and walking around for 5 minutes every hour throughout the day.  You’ll be more productive when you get back to work and you’ll reduce your sedentary time.
  5. Wear a pedometer or other tracking device.  Being aware of how active (or inactive) we are can help motivate us to add a few steps here and there.  So commit to wearing a pedometer and gradually increase your distance by a few hundred steps every week or so.
  6. Pick up a hobby.  Maybe you want to knit or draw.  Maybe it’s crosswords.  Maybe there’s something you used to do that you just don’t have time for anymore.  Well, now’s the time to make the time.  Again, replace TV time with your new activity or even do them simultaneously like knitting in front of the TV – sure makes it harder to mindlessly munch.
  7. Work out just a little more.  Try adding 5 more minutes of cardio, increasing the speed, upping the incline, working with free weights, or adding one more day at the gym.  It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. Make some small changes take your fitness routine to the next level.
  8. Develop a new skill by taking a class – acting, healthy cooking, photography, knitting, etc. This one is about finding new ways to enjoy and experience life.  Maybe you’ll be surprised to uncover some hidden talent.
  9. Eat better!  Sure, it’s vague and you’ll probably want to break this up over several months into more specific actionable items but regardless of how you approach it, commit to eating healthier meals and snacks throughout the year ahead.  Better yet, commit to letting Zestar Diet Pilot guide you towards healthier eating habits and a healthier new weight!

Individually each new habit may seem like a drop in the bucket, but by the end of 2014, think how full your bucket of healthy habits will be!   Here’s to a Happy New Year and a Healthier New You in 2014!


Jeannemarie Beiseigel, PhD, RD, is a registered dietitian with a doctorate in human nutrition, foods, and exercise. She’s worked with academia, government and industry and has several published research studies. She recently started her own practice as independent nutrition consultant for businesses and individuals. You can e-mail Jeannemarie at Read Jeannemarie's full bio.

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