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How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Last

People in masks celebrating 2021 with sparklers

Welcome to 2021. Has it been what you expected? Most of us would say, unfortunately, no. Darn. Well, how about your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you still going strong? Did you make any?

We waiver back and forth between loving and hating New Year’s Resolutions.

There’s a cynical side of us that says: What’s the point of Resolutions? They just get broken. We often want to change our whole life overnight and then, of course, can never make it happen.

Woman weighing herself on a scale

There is much truth in these feelings. We can make grand statements without knowing or mapping out the small steps to get there. Or we set such high achievement standards- in the name of having something to actually measure. Losing 50 pounds is the goal because I can measure that (we don’t love these types of resolutions anyway- read about our new take on getting “healthy” in the new year). But then we don’t lose the weight fast enough, we feel like a failure and give up. So inevitably, these resolutions are abandoned before February makes an appearance.

Despite all these negative associations and outcomes with New Year's Resolutions, I (Heather) can’t help but LOVE making them! I truly enjoy this time of year as it gives us the opportunity to refocus and reflect on where you want to grow and what you want to change. I guess I am an optimist through and through.

But we think there’s a better way to approach New Year’s Resolution goal setting.

Mom doing yoga with her happy baby

Taking a Different Approach to Resolutions

We recently listened to the Dr. John Delony podcast, he’s a Ramsey personality helping to solve people’s relational problems. We loved this mindset shift towards New Year’s Resolutions that he made. Instead of talking about resolutions as a measurable goal, he reframed it to focusing on WHO you want to be, the character traits that you want to grow or lean into over the next year.

  • Instead of: I want to lose 30 pounds→ I want to be a person who honors and stewards my body and treats it kindly.

  • Instead of: I want to make $100,000 this year→ I want to be a steward of my finances and resources.

  • Instead of: I want to read 25 books this year → I want to be a lifelong learner, valuing education and growing my mind and intellect.

Stack of books and cup of coffee.

Looking at goals this way allows you to continue to grow. You are not a failure if you don’t lose the weight you set out to. You still made healthy changes and shifted your actions. You made forward progress and that is to be celebrated! The same goes for any goal or resolution that you make!

Thinking this way allows you to set a vision of who you want to be and then move backwards in setting up the habits and routines that this person you desire to be does. What does the person who honors and stewards their body do? Well, they prioritize movement in a way they enjoy and is not punishment. They don’t restrict foods that may be deemed “unhealthy” but they also prioritize eating a variety of fruits and veggies daily. The list could go on and on.

Adult chopping bell pepper on cutting board

Small Growth is Worth Focusing On

Small changes are what creates habits and lifelong health. But these small changes are not significant to our instantaneous culture. It’s not flashy, it’s not sexy- but it is worthwhile.


Small changes are what creates habits and lifelong health. But it's not flashy or sexy!


Think of parenting. If you want to be a good parent, instill moral virtue into your children, and let them know (deep in their bones) that they are loved.. What do you have to do?

  • You have to spend TIME with them.

  • You have to intentionally CARE about the things THEY care about.

  • You listen to them, learn about them.

  • You have to play with them and get on their level.

You can’t just show up, take them to the circus one weekend and buy them all the things they want. They will be happy in the moment- but they’re not going to grow up having gained unconditional love and character from you.

Dad kayaking with two young daughters

Anything we want to change or do in our life follows this same framework. We have to show up day in and day out.


For any positive change to happen, we have to show up day in and day out.


This can also be applied to feeding littles and creating healthy habits for them. The daily routine, the daily structure, the daily habits that you form around food and health are what is going to set your child up for lifelong health.

Family enjoying time together on a tablet

Shift Your Mindset to Create Health for Your Family

As parents we all want the best for our kids. Focusing on who we want to be as parents, the life we want to model for our kids is of utmost importance to our own children’s long term health. Have you made New Year's Resolutions for your family? Maybe it’s:

  • valuing connection with your child

  • taking them on one on one dates

  • making mealtime an enjoyable part of everyone’s day

  • helping your child grow in the variety of foods that they eat

  • be intentional, get on a schedule, and get consistent with your feeding practices?

If any of these goals sound like resolutions you have or want to make for your family- join our Family Feeding Coaching. We take you through six weeks of content and resources designed to move you from frustrated to feeding with freedom and grace! Learn more about our coaching service here and book a FREE Discovery Call to talk to me (Heather) about how we can help reduce your feeding stress!

© 2021 The Doctor and The Dietitian. All Rights Reserved.

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