GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — We are nearing the end of January, a time when a lot of people who had good intentions going into 2022 may be giving up on their resolutions. But that’s no reason to throw in the towel completely! Grace Derocha, registered dietitian, health coach and national spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some advice for those who may be feeling a little bit frustrated with themselves.
Grace says, “So only about 8% of people continue on with their resolutions into February. That was a study that was just done. And it's interesting because New Year's resolutions are very much like life improvement based, right? Trying to live healthier, trying to eat better, trying to exercise, trying to lose weight, trying to save money you know, anything that we can do to help improve our lives. But if you make them and then you can't continue to make that a real habit, then then how does that make you feel?”
She adds that people shouldn’t feel defeated, this should just be the beginning of their journey. “So what's interesting is like, the psychology of how our mind works with this, is that making a resolution is actually a really good start. Because it means that you're more in the mindset to make change happen, right? So that's a good thing. But then getting yourself a plan, you know, being mentally physically just ready to do it is just the next key part and not feeling overwhelmed.”
Little mistakes should not derail anyone completely, Grace says we need to have more "grace" when dealing with ourselves. “I always call it the, you know, I grew up as a dancer, but I always called the pivot turn, right. So, let's say you were planning on exercising more in the new year, but things got hairy, whatever, someone got sick, you got really busy with whatever it might be. Reset, and just think, Okay, that was that. What can I do better this week? Or what can I better do better today?”
And the more you do something, the easier it becomes. So making those smaller changes over time can create real change. “So habit stack, some people call it habit stacking, habit chaining, habit pairing. So think of something that you already do now, I actually have done this for myself from years ago. But like I always drink coffee in the morning. Here it is. But I wasn't at the time back in the day that I wasn't drinking enough water. So now for every sip of coffee, I have to drink. sip of water to sip a coffee. Yep, exactly. Some people will do like a whole glass of water before. Whatever makes sense for you."
Grace shared other habits that created real change in her life. “Yeah. So another one I used to do when I came home from work, when I didn't work from home, I would change shoes into my inside tennis shoes. So then I would start putting away the laundry like things where I was moving, and then continue into the workout, right? Because I was already kind of in, change the shoes, change the clothes, and like made that a habit. You know, whatever it might be that makes the most sense for you. Do you have anything that you're trying to work on? Let's try to have it stack it."
So there’s no reason to give up hope if you haven’t carried through with those resolutions so far! Grace will be back to share some healthy recipes as we head into February to help us all create better habits.