With each new year comes an influx of clients, friends, and colleagues with lofty health and nutrition goals. Which is a good thing. But it’s no surprise that by the time the new year confetti settles, those resolutions may have fallen by the wayside. Here are some expert tips to help your friends, clients, and self make 2020 the year of keeping nutrition goals within sight and success within reach.

A Vague Goal Is a Missed Goal

We’ve all had the client who wants to lose some weight or eat better but what does this mean and how do you know if you’re moving towards success or standing still? Goals should be specific and measurable. Take the time to map out a goal that quantifies the weight to lose, the servings of veggies to eat, the days per week to track macros, and so on. Set a time table towards progress and establish how often check ins will occur.

Reasonable and Achievable Please

Ever met the client who wants to lose significant weight and NOW?  And then when weight loss didn’t occur overnight the client gave up? Rather than allowing for automatic failure, encourage a reasonable, long term (and healthier!) path towards success. Most nutrition experts agree that overweight and obese patients should aim for a loss of 0.5–1 lb per week. Quicker weight loss can spell nutrient deficiencies and a loss of significant amounts of muscle mass.

Baby Steps

Diet disasters don’t usually happen overnight, but change can. Awaken each day with the goal of being Made for Better.  Think small because seemingly insignificant changes add up. Every year presents each of us with over 1000 opportunities to choose better. At each meal, set a goal whether it’s portion control, including variety and natural color, micronutrients to include, and so on. Try setting a specific goal like “1 serving of fruit and vegetable at each meal today” or “more/less than X grams of (insert nutrient here) at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Daily goals are often the most achievable and the feeling of accomplishment can empower us to reach for even bigger goals.

Prioritize and Plan Ahead

Yes, you need check ins with your clients but what about yourself? Sometimes our internal voices, our own poor habits are getting in the way of our success. So work to eliminate those obstacles. Is your day running away from you and you miss yet another workout? Then make an appointment with yourself, just like you would a client. Did you forget to meal prep and the hangries forced you to eat everything that’s not nailed down? Rather than miss your macros (again), pack some healthy convenience items like a protein bar or shake to keep you on track. If your stressful day leads you to find solace in calories, resolve to track your intake and mood, so you can see this stumbling block looming well before it wreaks havoc. Experiment with “reset tools,” like going for a walk, playing a musical instrument or painting, that alleviate stress sans guilt of comfort foods!

No Quitting Allowed

What about those clients and friends (or self) that have already given up on 2020 being THE year for success? There’s no need to wait until next January 1. Instead, look at starting February 1. Or next Monday. Or whenever might be the best date to launch the resolution with a plan in place. If the resolution is nutrition-centric, start with a meal plan in hand, a pantry free of cheat items, and a fridge stocked with the right choices to help you meet your goals.