It's the time of year where people are starting to think about goal setting. You're probably looking back on the past year and thinking about what you've accomplished (or maybe not accomplished quite yet), and looking forward to 2016 and thinking about what you want to accomplish over the next year.
New Year's resolutions get a bad rep, especially resolutions that are health focused. There's often snide comments and the general feeling from others (and maybe even yourself) that come the end of January you'll be back to life as usual.
I think New Year's resolutions are great. It's important to take time to assess where we are in our life and where we want to be, as well as acknowledge where we were previously. Most of us find it pretty easy to know where we want to be; but it can be more difficult to look back at where we've been. However, I think the retrospective aspect of goal setting is just as important, if not more so, than the making of the goals.
I consider the retrospective step of goal setting to be two pronged. First, it's important to give yourself credit for your past accomplishments. When looking back a full year, it can be easier to remember the let downs rather than the accomplishments. That's why I like the idea I stole from Pinterest last year and tweaked a little. On New Year's Eve, decorate a container (it can be on old pasta jar, an old coffee tin, even just a cardboard box, whatever you have), then throughout the year as you accomplish small goals you've set for yourself, write down what you accomplish and put it in your container. At the end of the year, or whenever you're looking back to make new goals, pull out the container and remind yourself of all the goals you set that you accomplished. This is both a good mood booster to remind you that you can accomplish goals you set for yourself, and also allows you some insight on what type of goals you can set that will set you up for success.
It's also important to acknowledge past failings, and take an honest look at them to understand why those failings happened. Once you understand why you've failed to reach a goal in the past you can adjust your strategy and try again.
If you want to make a change in 2016, but feel overwhelmed at the thought of going at it alone, you're in luck! Right now I'm offering a package of an initial consultation and 2 30 minute follow ups for $120 (50% off regular pricing). Or, if you're not convinced nutrition counseling is for you and not ready to make that kind of commitment, I'm also offering initial consultations for $60 (50% off regular pricing). Contact me if you're interested and we can get you scheduled (if you're outside of the LA area, I can still help you via teleconferencing or Skype/FaceTime).
I hope everyone has wonderful rest of the holiday season. Remember to enjoy the time with your loved ones, and try not to stress about all those cookies and fruit cakes. I'll be back with you in 2016 with more delicious recipes and nutrition tips to help you reach those goals you set December 31st.
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.