Kathy Whelan

Posted on February 25, 2018

As December rolled into January, many of us armed ourselves with formal or informal New Year's resolutions for eating healthier in the new year. Now that March is in sight, it's time to look at how we're doing.

If this year is typical, many of us have let our resolutions lapse by now. In an interesting Boston Globe piece by Kara Baskin (January 9, 2018), various Boston chefs comment on that pattern. One says he sees diners' New Year's resolutions fizzle by Valentine's Day, another says diners are back to their old ways by March.

What now? To answer this question, I suggest we pause and check in with ourselves. If we've fallen away from our resolutions, let's look at them. Were they specific enough to be helpful day to day, or were they too vague or too broad? (Notice the difference between Beginning in January, I will eat healthy and Starting January 1, I will eat dessert no more than three times a week.) Were our plans realistic and sustainable in the context of our own, unique lives? Did our lapses leave us with a sense of failure that saps our energy for picking ourselves up and trying again?

As a coach, I have learned that our goals and action steps need to be SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timed. It pays to be mindful, to notice our behavior and our thoughts about what we observe. I have also learned that we benefit from taking a kind, generous attitude toward ourselves as well as others. We are human, which means we are imperfect. We need to do the best we can to set aside guilt and accept that we fall short from time to time. The important thing is staying positive, noticing what we do and learning from what happens, whatever that is. Instead of beating up on ourselves and telling ourselves we'll never succeed, think along these lines: That didn't go so well. What could I have done differently that might have led to a better outcome? You may be surprised how powerful that mindset shift can be. 

One more thing… For those of us trying to keep up with the latest in healthy eating, it can be downright bewildering. You're not alone if you wonder what to do with turmeric or you just don't get the notion of using ground-up cauliflower for pizza dough. Unless these things interest you, you don't need to understand them or follow these trends. Keep it simple. And if you want to learn more but don't have time for research, I know an excellent nutritionist who can help you. 

As always, I am here to serve as your guide and partner. Together, we will discover the goals and action steps that will lead to the results you want. For a limited time, I am offering a free, no-obligation"Kickstart Your Health"  session so you can begin to experience the power of coaching. I look forward to hearing from you at kathy@whelanwellness.com.

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