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Achievable resolutions

By Allison Goldberg

Do most new years speed past as resolutions are forgotten? You are not alone. Setting large, difficult goals and making strong initial progress that fades as the weeks go by happens to everyone. Don’t worry; small changes can have big impacts and be easier to maintain. Here are some reasonable resolutions to help you make healthy, positive changes.

If you want to eat better but find you cannot adhere to a strict, restrictive diet, try making more nutritious choices one at a time.

  • Add an extra serving of nutritiously prepared vegetables every day, like steamed or roasted veggies as a side, salsa instead of butter on your baked potato or adding mushrooms to ground beef.
  • Cut both sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks to only one each week. Don’t deny yourself. Make it a special treat!
  • Replace sugary or refined snacks and breakfast foods with fruits, nuts and whole grains. Fresh fruit and nuts or nut butter. Avocado and cheese on whole grain toast. Lightly sweetened granola in plain yogurt. Steel cut oats with berries. Delicious and nutritious.

If you resolved to use the gym but you’re not going, find a way to make it engaging and hold yourself accountable.

  • Find a gym buddy, go together and hold each other accountable.
  • Try a resolution accountability app, like Pact, which attaches monetary value to your dedication.
  • Make working out more social with fitness social media apps or support groups on social networks.
  • Make it more social in real life by joining fitness classes or searching Meetup.com for groups that get together for fitness activities, both in the gym and outdoors.
  • If the gym truly isn’t for you, quit. Take a dance or self-defense class, riding lessons or outdoor survival course. Do what moves you, literally and figuratively.

If you resolved to get organized but find yourself still living in clutter, running late or not getting enough sleep, tackle organization with small tasks.

  • Section by section, put things away, dust or disinfect and do not allow yourself to re-clutter a cleaned area. Invest in attractive storage solutions and clean one section each evening until you finish every section.
  • Decide if you pick up an object, you must put it down in its rightful place.
  • Use your phone’s calendar to track every appointment and block off time. Set reminders to provide enough time to get out the door and on the road. You can also use it to remind yourself to go to bed early, give the dog its medication, bake cookies for a bake sale or spend a few minutes tidying at the end of each day.
  • Say no to unnecessary or unimportant requests that stretch your time and patience, to which you cannot give your full attention or that sound just plain terrible. Prioritize the people and activities you care about most, including yourself.

Allison Goldberg writes and edits employee benefits-related materials for the Insurance and Financial Services Dept. of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.