Planning for a Healthy New Year

Lots of people enjoy making New Year’s resolutions, but few begin planning for a healthy New Year until a few days before New Year’s Eve. Planning ahead to incorporate some fresh and healthy practices can do a lot toward helping you succeed at your goals.

“Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them,” according to Forbes. so how can you start out the year with a plan in place that will help you commit to healthy living for longer than just one month? When you take time to plot something out over time, it’s more likely that your plan will stick because you’ve been thinking about it for so long.

Here are some things to consider as you think through planning for a healthy New Year.

1. Plan resolutions with your friends or roommates

It’s a lot easier to stick to a resolution if you have a little bit of accountability. If you’re hoping to start eating healthier, getting your roommates or friends on board can be a big help in assisting you all toward your goal. Instead of flying solo with your eating goals, having a friend or two to do it with you can mean all sorts of things: a buddy to help plot out new recipes, someone to skip the dessert (or find an alternative, healthier dessert with you) at lunch, and someone to help you find some restaurants with healthier options when everyone goes out to eat!

Heading to the gym at 8:00pm in the cold, dark winter is also a lot easier when you have your roommates with you as sidekicks. And they probably won’t let you quit doing pushups until you reach your goal—even if you really, really want to. Basically, just about everything is better when you do it in community, but achieving goals is definitely easier when you have the encouragement and accountability of those walking beside you.

2. Make an actual plan and write it down 

It’s easy to speculate about what you’re going to do for a New Year’s resolution, but giving lip service to something is a whole lot easier than actually doing it. If you really want to follow through with some of your goals, make an actual plan and write it all down. This could look like writing on a piece of notebook paper the goals you’ve set for each week after the New Year—something like going to the gym three times a week or making sure to meal prep on certain days or avoiding certain food groups or substances, like sugar or caffeine.

Whatever it is, write your goals down and post them where you (and maybe your roommates too) can see them. This will help keep them fresh in your mind, and it can help with accountability too.

3. Do some research

The great thing about New Year’s resolutions is that you are absolutely not alone in your goals to pursue better health. Lots of people have gone on lots of endeavors to do what you might be thinking of doing. A 60-day intensive workout plan? Done! Whole30? Done! Eating paleo or cutting sugar? Done! Social media fast? Done!

Before you get too far into the New Year, take some time to do a little research and see what has worked well for the people who have gone before you. Are there certain plans you can subscribe to? Are there apps that can help you along your way? Are there encouraging blog posts you can return to when you’re having a hard time or even some blog posts you could follow along with as the days go by? Sometimes bloggers or fitness professionals will do day-by-day challenges where everyone can follow along and stay held accountable.

So don’t hold back on researching the best healthy snacks to eat or ways to combat FOMO when going on a social media fast. Bookmark a few of your favorite websites and return to them when you need a little boost of encouragement.  Learning from other people’s mistakes and successes can be an enormous help, and it can even help make your entire endeavor exciting and fun!