On-The-Go: Sticking to Your New Year's Resolution When Time is Tight

Eating better and exercising more are always popular resolutions for the new year. But how do you keep your motivation strong as the holidays fade and time gets tight?

Hopefully, your resolution included a plan to help you achieve your goals. If not, read more about setting yourself up for success in this month’s feature article. If you’re on the right track, don’t let a busy schedule sabotage your health efforts. Here are some quick tips and easy meal options to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution after you return to your usual routine.

  • Don’t skip meals. It is easy to overeat at your next opportunity when you’ve skimped on meals earlier in the day.
  • Write down what you eat even if all you have is a napkin. It raises your awareness so you will be less likely to overeat.
  • When you cook, prepare extra and freeze leftovers in individual serving containers so a healthy meals can be ready in minutes. Try these great recipes that also freeze well: 
  • Be creative with leftovers. Always prepare more than you need for dinner. Last night’s grilled chicken and vegetables can become today’s wrap filling or salad toppings.
  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter so it is easy to grab for a snack or to add as a side to your entrée.
  • Wash, cut up and pack fresh produce into individual servings when you get home from the store. Think about lettuce, cucumbers and bell peppers for toping sandwiches and baby carrots or snap peas for snacks. Keep salad fixings washed and ready to toss together for a quick veggie dish. 
  • Toss canned beans, pasta, rice, or barley with your favorite meat. Mix in some raw or leftover cooked vegetables too. Top your dish with salsa or your favorite low-calorie salad dressing.
  • Avoid the morning rush by packing lunch and/or breakfast the night before. Pack fresh produce such as salad or sandwich toppings separately from bread or dressings.

Even if being more active wasn’t part of your resolution, add more movement into your day.  It doesn’t take any extra time, and you’ll be multi-tasking your way to lower risk for heart disease:

  • Get up at work every hour to walk around.
  • Stand or walk around while on speaker phone.
  • Stand for parts of long meetings.
  • Take a brisk 10-minute walk during your lunch break.
  • Don’t watch the commercials during your favorite television show. Get up and move around instead. Tidy up the room, run the vacuum, or fold clothes while standing up.

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