Happy New Year!
2015 is here, and with a new year comes resolutions. We all want to make 2015 a better year, right? Even if 2014 was a great year, why can’t we strive for the BEST year? Making resolutions can be tricky, but certainly not impossible. According to Mind Tools, here are the Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting:
- Set Motivating Goals
- Set SMART Goals. This is an acronym referring to goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. In terms of specificity, it is important to be precise with your goals. For example, instead of a resolution being “I want to lose weight this year”, make a goal stating how much weight you want to lose in a specific time frame. This goes hand-in-hand with measurable and time-bound goals. In terms of attainable goals, make sure your resolution is possible but resist from making it too easy. It is important that the resolution is relevant to your life; it will keep you motivated and focused.
- Set Goals in Writing
- Make an Action Plan. Write each individual step in a To-Do list format. Your progress towards your goal will be more apparent when you are crossing off each step in the To-Do list.
- Stick With It! Designate times to complete these steps and follow through.
Need some resolution inspiration? Here are several resolution ideas that are manageable for the New Year:
- Limit the amount of processed foods you consume. Processed food is known to have the highest sodium levels, and high sodium intake correlates with increased risk of heart disease and hypertension. In addition, water is attracted to sodium. That is to say, high sodium intake causes bloating. The Recommended Daily Allowance of sodium is less than 2,300 mg per day (less than 1,500 mg per day for those who have high blood pressure).
- Eat more antioxidant-rich foods. These include blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, artichokes, beans, pecans, and orange juice. When the body breaks down food, the food becomes oxidized, meaning that electrons roam through the body. These electrons are known as free radicals. Free radicals can be detrimental to the body—they are known to cause cancer, heart disease, inflammation, and wrinkles. Antioxidants eliminate the free radicals in the body. The American Dietetic Association explains: Once you cut up an apple, it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C (an antioxidant), it stays white. You can defend your body the same way by including rich sources in your diet (9 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions).
- Track the amount of calcium intake in your diet. It is important to continue consuming calcium after adolescent years well into adulthood because it prevents osteoporosis. If you prefer to skip the milk, try to incorporate low-fat cheeses and yogurts into your diet. In addition, salmon and dark green vegetables, like broccoli are good sources of calcium. Although calcium-fortified juices are a good source of calcium, they are also filled with calories and sometimes added sugar, so limit intake. Here are the Recommended Daily Allowances for Calcium:
51-70 years: 1,000 mg daily (men) and 1,200 mg daily (women)
71+ years: 1,200 mg daily
With the right resolutions and strategies, you can make 2015 your BEST year!