New Years resolutions are all well and good, but let’s be serious: if it isn’t a priority every day of the year, it’s probably not going to be a priority this week. With January first right behind us, many of us have new resolutions that involve healthier living or eating. Instead of promising yourself a dramatically different year, why not promise yourself a really great DAY, then a really great WEEK, then a really great MONTH? My advice, when it comes to food resolutions, is to make small changes that you’re sure you can actually stick with for at least a little while, then measure your progress in weeks rather than years.
When it comes to forming a habit, some say it takes 21 days. Others, such as researchers at University College London (link), say it can take much longer than that. Still, there’s no harm in setting a three week initial goal: if you can go 21 days without something you’d rather phase out, or if you can add something healthful to your life every day between now and January 21, then what’s to stop you from carrying that trend forward to Valentine’s Day, then Independence Day, then Halloween and beyond?
When it comes to how we eat, it’s easier to do our very best every day and start every morning with a fresh, guiltless resolve then to get bogged down in perceived “failures.” If you forgot your whole-foods vow, or your vegan vow, or your no-more-eating-whatever-it-is-that-makes-you-feel-crummy vow, or if you didn’t have the energy for the homemade, from-scratch lunch you know your kids deserved today, you need to forgive yourself. You haven’t failed until you stop feeling confident that you can do better tomorrow.
No matter how many days stand between our New Years resolution and ourselves, each day presents a new opportunity to live our very best life. For me, that means feeding my family more fresh, local produce today and every day to come.