• By Deanna Segrave-Daly
  • In 2019
  • January 2, 2019

Manageable New Year’s Tips To Start the Year

by Caroline Passerrello, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT

Recently my colleagues and I were discussing recommendations for our clients to start the New Year off right and a few themes emerged:

Start Small and Keep it Manageable
• “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and change isn’t going to happen overnight. Slow and steady wins the day when it comes to improving your health. Start with a small change and build up from there. You can start with something as simple as eating an extra serving of a fruit or vegetable per day.” – Angel Planells

• “Make a “To Do” list of changes you would like to make. Divide them into easy, moderate and hard to do. Pick one to work on each week. Simple steps are best for long-term behavior changes that lead to long-term health changes.” – Sonya Angelone

Focus on Adding, Not Taking Away
• “Think of what to add, not take away. Adding foods you should put on your plate like plant-based foods naturally balances the plate.” – Angela Lemond

• “Rather than focusing on foods you need to cut out, make sure to aim to include nourishing foods every day that help support good health. Aim to add in at least an extra cup of vegetables daily. It all starts by making sure you’ve added extra veggies to your grocery cart.” – Julie Stefanski

Use a Buddy System
• “Sit next to a fellow healthy eater. It helps you to stay on track with your health goals when you surround yourself with like-minded persons.” – Nancy Farrell

• “Create an environment of success. Examples: If you wanna eat better, don’t keep hanging out with junk food junkies.” – Angela Lemond

• “Enlist a buddy and tell people your goals. It is so much easier to achieve goals when there is someone traveling the same path and those around you know how to support you. Ask your co-workers not to bring treats to your desk. Engage your spouse in a race around the block. Ask your kids to give you 10 minutes of “you-time” each day. Every little bit helps and your body will respond in appreciation.” – Cordialis Msora-Kasago

Be Kind to Yourself
• “Be kind to yourself. Your body is an amazing machine that performs wonders every single minute. Pause several times a day to connect with it and listen to that inner voice. If you are tired, rest. When hungry, eat and when emotional, let it all out Wellness is a body, mind and soul experience.” – Cordialis Msora-Kasago

• “While it’s really motivating to start January 1, for many the celebrations are still happening. And, the decadent leftovers might still be hanging around that first week of January. Be realistic and start your resolutions the second week or even halfway through the month of January. By then you’ll be back at work and the robin of the new year will be falling into place.” – Libby Mills

• “If you have a bad day don’t give up, you have many more days ahead of you to make things right and achieve your goals. Don’t feel defeated. Use your failures to learn from them and try new things every time. Every new day is a new opportunity and what’s really important is that you focus on your goals and learn to appreciate your achievements.” – Sandra Arevalo

And my tip?
Resolve to Rest: Think about what you would need to change in your routine to be sure you sleep 7-8 hours each night. It might feel like you don’t have the time, but make sleep a priority and see the far-reaching benefits!

Whether you are working to maintain a healthy lifestyle, getting your eating back on track after the holidays or starting on your journey to better nutrition, keep these tips in mind to set yourself up for success!

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Caroline is a Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the owner of Caroline West, LLC , a Part-time Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and a Past President of the Pittsburgh Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. When she isn’t fielding media interviews, consulting with clients, or inspiring students you will likely find her spending quality – and active – time with her family. You can find Caroline on facebook, twitter, and Instagram.