Most of us will make some generic New Year’s Resolutions about eating healthier and exercising more in the coming year. Most of us will stick with it for a few weeks and then taper off and go back to our old habits. Why do we do this to ourselves? We are just setting ourselves up for failure. It seems so easy to say we will do something and actually think we will do it. However, we all know that it can be more difficult than that. We need more structure in our resolutions to make them count. Try using SMART goals this year and see if they help you stick to your resolutions.
Generic New Year’s Resolution: Eat healthier.
Specific: Exactly what you would like to accomplish.
Measureable: How will you know if your goal has been met? Have a way to measure it.
Attainable: Is your goal attainable within the timeframe you planned?
Realistic: Be realistic about achieving your goal and how long it will take you.
Timely: Time sensitive goals are more likely to be met instead of loose thoughts which may just get added to a growing to-do list.
SMART New Year’s Resolution: Eat 3 more servings of fruits and vegetables every day by January 31st.
This resolution is definitely more specific. Adding fruits and vegetables is a specific way to eat healthier. We are also giving ourselves a way to measure our goal, by adding that we will eat 3 more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This goal is attainable since we are only adding 3 servings to our day. If we chose to add 5 more servings every day, that might not be attainable, especially if we aren’t currently having any fruits or vegetables. We are being timely and realistic about our goal, giving ourselves one month to achieve it. One month will allow us to figure out the best plan of action to add these servings of fruits and vegetables, but won’t be too long to forget about our goal.
Here are some tips for achieving our SMART resolution:
- All forms of fruits and vegetables count! Fresh, frozen, dried, and canned are all great sources of adding produce to your meal plan. There are just a few things to watch out for:
- Fruits: avoid syrups or added sugars in canned and frozen varieties. Look for canned fruits packed in 100% fruit juice or water. If you can’t find these versions be sure to drain and rinse your fruit.
- Vegetables: avoid added salt and fat. Look for plain versions of frozen vegetables, avoid any seasonings or sauces. Look for ‘no salt added’ versions of canned vegetables. If you can’t find these versions be sure to drain and rinse your vegetables.
- Limit the amount of dried fruits as they contain high amounts of sugar in small servings.
- Include a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Plan ahead to be sure you have fruits or vegetables on hand.
- Put fruits in a bowl on the counter. If they are visible they may be more likely to be eaten.
- Prepare fruits and vegetables as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Cut up pineapple will get eaten a lot faster if it is cut ahead of time.
- Make vegetables the star of your dinner. Choose stuffed peppers or stir fries and add in extra veggies. Add more vegetables to your regular casseroles.
- Bored with your regular vegetables? Try preparing them in different ways. If you typically steam vegetables, try roasting them for a different flavor. Even cutting vegetables in different shapes can help make them more exciting.
- Try a new fruit or vegetable at dinner one night a week.
- Check out the Fruits & Veggies More Matters site for more helpful tips on fruits and vegetables such as selection, storage, and recipes.
Check out these recipes featuring delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season: