Your Resolutions Don’t Have to Be All or Nothing

On New Year’s Eve, you may have said to yourself, “This is it.  Tomorrow- it all stops.  No sugar, no sweets, no gluten; I’m getting up every day at 6 to hit the gym and I’m not drinking for at least a month.”   Then, you may have gone all out, eating and drinking everything in sight since you knew you’d be on track, completely, come the next morning.

On  New Year’s Day, you may have decided that just a glass of champagne was fine; it was a celebratory day, after all.   Unfortunately, it turned into three glasses and sleeping past the alarm you set for work yesterday.  Then, when you woke and got ready to go back to work, you realized you hadn’t done any preparation in terms of lunch or snacks to bring with you to the office, and then opted for a quick meal to go from the cafe downstairs, which came with a side of fries.

Here it is, only the third day in the New Year and you’re feeling like a fraud.

What went wrong?

Nothing that didn’t also not go according to plan for probably millions of other people.

While all or nothing may sound like a good approach, for many, it’s just too much to take in at one time.   

For some, the approach of taking small steps is not only far more feasible, it’s much more conducive to feeling successful and therefore, to serve as an impetus to stay on track with those small changes and continue to add more.

A great article on this very topic was in the NY Times’ Dining Section this past Wednesday.  In ‘Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions‘, Mark Bittman lists small steps to follow to help keep you on track, including some of the following, which also happen to be Paleo-friendly:

  • Cook simple, unseasoned veggies every couple of days
  • Buy frozen veggies and fruits
  • Make your own condiments
  • Eat veggies for breakfast
  • Make extra sides of veggies
  • Cook out of your comfort zone

Even if you made no other changes at first than to add veggies, it would be a good start.   Then, perhaps the next week you could begin paring down the unPaleo options, starting with gluten and dairy.   Before you know it, you’ll be well on you way to Paleo eating, but the changes will have been made subtly along the way to allow you digest them (pun intended!) and not feel you were ever being overly restrictive.

What a recipe for success!