Simple, Basic and Balanced: Top Five Tips for Achieving your 2018 Goals
How are those 2018 resolutions going? We are one week in to the New Year and chances are, not so great.
Sadly, a mere 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions(1).
And since the single most common resolution is weight loss (21.4% of people list this as their top goal), many people are already shrugging their shoulders and deciding it’s just too complicated and confusing to stick to their idea of following a Paleo, or Keto (or both) approach to eating.
Whether it comes down to setting goals that are neither simple nor tangible, the bottom line is that for most, by the second week of January, old habits are already showing their ugly heads.
So how can we concur this dire outcome and strive for success?
By being a bit more realistic with what we are setting ourselves up for and creating a reasonable model of how to get there.
Below are my top five tips to create success for your 2018 health, fitness and wellness goals.
Have you found yourself feeling surprised that the scale is showing a number not 10, not 15 but 20 pounds higher than what you’d like to see, yet setting yourself up to weigh in at an ideal weight by the end of January? Get real. Not only would it be risky to achieve that amount of weight loss in a mere 4 wks, emotionally, it would set you up for a roller coaster ride, leaving you more likely to end up even heavier. If it took a year or two to put on that extra weight, how would it be reasonable to expect you’d take it off in a fraction of the time? Patience is key, as well as being kind to yourself. Set up a slow but steady path to success.
Don’t overthink it. Not only are there many diets trending at the moment, there are many versions of each! I remember back in the early days of teaching Paleo when clients would ask me if this approach involved eating dinosaurs. Now, we see everything from an authentic approach in which folks are hunting and gathering (even if it’s at the farmer’s market) to versions in which everything can be purchased already prepared from the market already to go, and stamped as Paleo Approved. Do the research and learn how simple it really can be if we just eat food!
What to eat, when to eat it and how much can get really tricky, especially if you’ve found yourself drowning in confusing, conflicting information coming from all directions. My best advice is to get basic and think about what food really is. Did it grow from the ground near where you live? Did it run across the land or swim in the rivers or sea? How many steps did it take to get onto your plate? Thinking in these basic terms helps significantly in terms of making the best food choices and avoiding those so heavily processed, they’re not really even food any more.
Celery sticks, steamed chicken and lemon juice? Sure, those are healthy foods, but how satisfying are they? Yet so many of us rely on this old-school mentality of low fat, ‘diet’ options to the extreme that we can only stand it for so long before we’re starving and those doughnuts, chips or ice cream start to sound like a very good idea. This model is a perfect example of why it would behoove many of us to begin to shift to a ketogenic approach. Imagine how easy it would be to not eat sugar if you’re not craving it in the first place! Balance your approach- add more fat, and also, equally as important, add some wiggle room. Whether that means having a piece of extra dark chocolate after dinner or a neat mezcal as a cocktail (yes, you read that correctly; there’s got to be room for a drink and some chocolate!), creating balance helps your body stay on track since your mind won’t go off the deep end feeling you’ve done something wrong by having a little something special. It’s worth noting, incidentally. that a piece of premium dark chocolate has very little sugar (if any at all) and provides a rich dose of anti oxidants. And the mezcal? It claims a much lower glycemic index than many other spirits, making it especially interesting to health conscious consumers, diabetics, and foodies alike (3).
Give Yourself a Break
Did you fall of the rails? It happens! We’re all human. Rather than getting angry at yourself and throwing out the baby with the bath water, assess what happened and constructively create a plan to avoid the same thing from happening again in the future. Perhaps you went too long without eating or didn’t eat enough fat last night during your intermittent fasting day. Keep a journal and go back and see what didn’t work so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t forget to plan a reward for your hard work, too, and make it a non food related one. It doesn’t make much sense to treat yourself to an ice cream after losing two pounds, does it? Instead, list out some other things or experiences that would be equally satisfying without the sabotage.
Here’s to staying strong and achieving those 2018 goals!
(1) Diamond, Dan. “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Jan. 2013,
(3) Tequila & Mezcal… What.” The Drinks Business,