New Years resolutions are largely about ourselves and for ourselves, mostly focusing on self-improvement. It is thought that only eight percent of people actually follow through on their resolutions.

Making New Years resolutions dates back 4000 years, when the ancient Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return things borrowed. Their new year began in March, when they planted crops and honored their reigning king.

Resolutions continued on in Rome when people honored Janus (for whom January is named), the Roman deity and made promises of good conduct for the upcoming year.

It’s not too late to start making those changes you’ve been thinking about. Many of you have probably heard me say that the best way to implement any change is with baby steps. Baby steps make us feel like we are making a difference while keeping our lives manageable. We are also less apt to feel that we are depriving ourselves.

Here are some “baby step” changes that you can think about in an effort to implement self-improvement. They concern food and weight, as this is a popular topic in my office.

Move more

  • If you watch TV at night, get up and walk around your house/apt during the commercials. It doesn’t seem like much, but those steps add up. If you have stairs, walk up and down once or twice before your show comes back on.
  • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot and walk to the store.
  • Get up from your desk walk and around for at least five minutes an hour. In addition to helping your body, it will help you focus better.
  • Consider using a FitBit and other pedometer type devices. Many people find them motivating.
  • The best exercise is to push yourself away from the table!

No white at night

One client once told me that she lost weight by eating “no white at night.” When I inquired further, she said she eats no potatoes, pasta, bread, ice cream, rice or similar carbs with dinner. It worked for her.

Hydrate well

Try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a sugary snack during that afternoon energy drop, as we often confuse fatigue and dehydration with hunger.

Plan ahead

Have a meal plan in place ahead of time so when hunger grabs you, you can grab something nutritious instead of unhealthy fast foods and snacks.

Some people abide by that 80/20 rule: eating “clean” for five days of the week and treating themselves (in moderation) on the other two.

If you are having will power troubles, come on in for some acupuncture treatments. It will help.

Here’s to hoping you can be successful with whatever resolutions you decided on. Happy New Year!

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