You Got This With the Help of Your Family and Friends!
Research shows that keeping our New Year’s resolutions to live healthier is easier with the help of our family and friends. The ONIE project asked around to see what worked to help stay on track with New Year’s resolutions. The most common answer was “doing it together”. It did not matter whether the change was related to eating habits or doing more physical activity, the change was always easier when you don't have to do it alone. We are sharing what people like you told us worked for them!
It seemed to really help if everyone in the family makes the same changes in food habits. As Sheila, a mother of two explained, “it can be very tempting if someone else is eating or drinking that sweet dessert or chips in front of you”. She also said it also helped to make the changes as a family because she and husband could remind each other of their goals when tempted to back slide a tiny bit. Since they were doing it together they understood how each other felt.
Another mother said she does the shopping and meal planning for the family. She picks food that is healthy for the whole family, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and cereals that are not sugar-sweetened. She said, “If it is not in the house, it is not being eaten”.
Bill said that he and his wife made a commitment to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and no sugary treats for ninety days. While this was bigger goal than most of us set, Bill explained that he and wife felt closer as they worked to keep this resolution. They planned together how they would add more healthy items to their diet, and worked together to eliminate the sweets. Sharing the goal helped them feel closer as a couple.
It was said that it is more fun to do physical activity together. This family goes for a walk after dinner or plays ball. For them, the focus was on each other; they looked forward to being able to just hang out together, and this part of the day was special.
Join a new physical activity class with a friend. One of my friends shared that she felt more comfortable being the new person in the class if she started it with a friend. Her friend would encourage her to go to the class when she was feeling a bit pressed to do other things.
Tony and Maria challenge each other every week. One week, the challenge may be to not eat any fast food. Another week, the challenge may be to eat one more serving of a vegetable than usual. If they meet their goals, they give themselves a reward.
We would love to hear what works for you, and the best advice is the tried and applied advice! Good luck keeping those New Year’s resolutions! Karla and the ONIE Project!