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7 Mindset Changes for Your New Year Resolutions

by Dr. Nancy Rahnama

Director of Health & Nurition

The year is coming to a close and it’s time to reflect on all the things you’ve achieved this year, the things that went right and wrong, the areas of your life you’d like to improve next year, and the things you’d like to let go of.

The problem is, all too many people set new year resolutions that are too intimidating to achieve – and so they give up just a week or two into the year. I don’t want you to be within this group this year! I know you can achieve your loftiest goals this coming year, but you need to set the right resolutions and tackle them carefully. If you’re ready to make some serious changes in your life next year, follow my top 7 mindset changes below:

What can I do to achieve my new year resolutions?

1. Take small, achievable steps toward your more substantial goals

Set small, tangible goals so your journey does not feel overwhelming. You may set a resolution to lose 40lbs – that’s a big goal and if you’ve not yet lost any, can feel totally out of reach.

Instead of tackling it all in one – expecting to take 6 months or more to achieve it – break it down into much smaller steps and challenges.

For example, you may decide to take 10,000 steps a day, or only indulging in dessert once a week. Maybe you sign up for a class at the gym or commit to going to the gym twice a week. Focus on these smaller habits and challenges, not the 40lbs.

Remember that all of these steps are part of your bigger health journey, so see each day as a step towards better health, rather than one big, intimidating project. If you get satisfaction out of habit trackers or ticking off to do lists, find an app you love, get a whiteboard where you can tick off a list each day, or try turning a notebook into a fitness journal.


2. Try to be kind to yourself

One of the number one resolution killers is negative self-talk. We often think that pushing ourselves with harsh language will get us to take action, but that’s just not the case. If you cheat on your diet and tell yourself that you’re a failure and you’re going to be fat forever (that’s the kind of harsh language we so often use with ourselves), you’re probably not going to feel motivated to prove yourself wrong.

Positive thoughts lead to positive results; if you believe you can do something, your determination makes you far more likely to achieve it.


3. Do things that you enjoy

Make sure your goals and how you plan to go about achieving them align with your personality and values. For example, if your goal is to lose 40lbs, don’t sign up for a Gladiator Boot Camp if you absolutely hate jumping around, running, and getting shouted at by a personal trainer.

Choose hobbies and activities that not only support your goals but also that you enjoy, and if you’re not sure, try new things. Many people find success by only allowing themselves to watch their favorite show while they’re on the treadmill or exercise bike, or listening to podcasts and audiobooks while walking or jogging.

Remember that your resolutions don't have to make you miserable and should be designed to make you feel better. Combine them with things you enjoy so you look forward to them – even if you’re only looking forward to getting on the treadmill so you can watch the next episode of a beloved show.


4. Celebrate your achievements

Make sure to acknowledge and celebrate reaching your goals: they often aren’t easy and you deserve to feel good about your success. Some personality types are better at this than others – so if you’re someone who tends to dismiss your achievements, make sure you set milestones and decide on a reward you’ll give yourself when you meet each one.

Don’t keep your successes to yourself – share your success with your loved ones, not only to reward yourself for your progress but also to hold yourself accountable for further progress.

It's easy to fall into the societal pressures of image and diet, but your body is unique to you and operates uniquely from anyone else’s, so find people who will celebrate with you if it’s not your immediate family.


5. Don't expect perfection

Changes are always tough to implement, especially when you’re trying to change your ingrained lifestyle habits.

Remember that human beings are not perfect and that one little deviation from your chosen diet isn’t the end of the world. Instead of thinking “I’ve ruined my diet, I may as well eat everything in sight since I’ve failed anyway,” look at it as something you enjoyed, and move on with your day.

Avoid comparing yourself to others and remember that the lifestyles, gym routines, and bodies of everyone around you and on social media are different. If you find yourself using social media as a self-punishment tool, remove the app from your phone, at least until you’re further along in your journey.


6. Reflect (realistically) on your habits

Having a clear picture of what habits could be slowing your resolution progress and try to work on developing better habits. You need to try to overwrite bad habits with new, healthy ones, so you make healthy choices on autopilot. Making decisions takes energy, so think about dedicating yourself to developing one new healthy habit each month (and keeping it going into the next) until you no longer think the way you used to.


7. Join a community

Having a friend on the same journey with us can help boost your morale (and theirs); there’s strength in numbers and we often find solace in discussing a challenge with others. Speak with your friends regularly to share your goals, progress, and tips on how to stick to your health plan.

The people in your support group don’t all have to be on a health journey, either, though it can help if they are. If you have a friend that wants to write a book this year, or a similar goal, you can keep them accountable for writing daily, while they can help keep you accountable for daily exercise.

Take it one step at a time


There’s no quick fix that will give you your ideal body shape, weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol. Good overall health is not about making one drastic change all of a sudden. It’s about being compassionate to yourself and taking small, realistic steps towards bettering yourself. If you follow these 7 tips as you start tackling your new year resolutions, you’ll find success much faster than you hoped.

Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease. In addition to her private practice in Beverly Hills, she is also the co-founder and Director of Nutrition for Dr Nancy MD.


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Try our products risk-free. If you are unhappy for any reason, simply return it within 60 days of receiving it and we’ll give you a full refund. It’s that simple.