The Power of a Fresh Start

Dear Leah Renee,

My New Year’s resolution is to get healthier, but I’ve said that before and come around March or so I am pretty much back to my old ways!  How can I stick to it?!  Thanks!  ~Kathy, FL

A year can feel like a long time when we are adjusting to change!  Getting healthier takes will-power and commitment.  Just like any goal, we need to know how it’s going to get achieved.  When it’s clear to you what and how you’re going to do it, it sets a path for achievement.  Here are some tips for you and, who knows, it may just stick for life!

  • Define your intentions.  If it’s to ‘get healthier’ what does that mean to you?  Eat more veggies? Stop drinking soda? Only consuming alcohol twice a week?  If you mindfully set specific goals, then it’s easier to remember and abide by your own ‘rules’.  Make a list.


  • Set out reasonable expectations.  It’s good to dream big and expect a lot from yourself, but it’s also just as powerful to know yourself well and what is going to make sense in your daily life.
  • Reward yourself.  How do you like to celebrate achievements?  Is it a new pair of shoes?  A massage or spa treatment?  An overnight stay someplace fun?  A night out with friends?  Know what you like as a reward and treat yourself accordingly for accomplishing your goals.  And if that means an ice cream or piece of cake, then that’s good too!


  • Let people know you’re resolution.  The more people you tell, the more you’ll be held accountable.  Choose those who will motivate you or even join you!
  • Know your triggers.  Are there certain scenarios, people or places that make it more difficult to stick to your goals?  It’s good to recognize those and act accordingly.  In the first few weeks it may be good to adopt your new intentions without the temptations directly within reach.  If you decided to cut out sugar, don’t go visit a candy store ‘just to have a look’ or accompany a friend.
  • Be strategic.  Going to a party?  Visit with your friend across the room from the snack table.  If it’s not looking at you, you won’t look (or reach) at it.  Going out to dinner?  Look at the menu beforehand and find an option or two that will not derail your resolution.  At the grocery store?  Don’t buy what you know you’ll eat the whole thing of and regret it.  If it’s not in your cupboard or freezer it’s harder to eat it.
  • Write down your progress.  If it is too much to write down every little thing, focus on the positives.  If you feel really good about the fact that you tried a new healthy recipe or ate more vegetables than ever, write it down!  You will be able to reflect on that and affirm that you’re entirely capable and how good it made you feel when you did so.


  • Treat each morning as you would a new year!  It’s great that each year we feel fresh and ready to realign our mind and body, but what about each sunrise?  Each day you wake, it’s a brand new day.  Let it center you again!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Bring on 2014!!!

What are your New Years Resolutions?