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SMART Planning for New Year’s Resolution Success

Want to know about getting a jump start on lifestyle changes that commonly begin after the New Year? Here are a few reader question favorites from “Ask Mary Q+As” about planning for change.

Ask Mary: Where should I start with my healthy lifestyle change?

Start with changing one thing and add others over time. It’s always best to practice the change that brings you the most joy. To find the parts of your diet in need of change, keep a food log for 3 to 7 days – before changing the way you eat. Do you snack between meals, frequently eat in restaurants, or neglect to eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day? Would you like to give up soda or might you prefer to slowdown your eating? Each change is noble and should be greeted as an adventure. Once you decide upon a change to make, set a S-M-A-R-T goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise”, get S-M-A-R-T. Say, “I will walk for 20 minutes at lunchtime Monday through Thursday”. Then envision yourself easily reaching your goal and you’re part way there!