(BPT) – If you make New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone. About half of Americans make special goals for each new year, according to University of Scranton research. Unfortunately, you’re also not alone if you break them, as only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolution. Why do so many people fail, and furthermore, what’s the secret to success?
“The start of a new year is not powerful enough to help you continue to make the best decisions,” says Dr. Chris Mohr, a fitness and nutritional expert who consults for television, print and radio outlets throughout the country. “People need to define their ‘why’ if they’re going to make a permanent change.”
If your reason for changing your life is for your mental and physical well-being, you understand your ‘why.’ But instead of selecting a huge resolution that will take months or years of dedication to achieve, why not focus on small things you can easily implement that will compound to have a dramatic effect?
“Start with one small change,” says Dr. Mohr. “You don’t have to wait for the right time, right date, right day, event, etc. Start now and start small. Then work your way up with small, daily habits.” He recommends five, fail-safe goals that are surprisingly simple and will still have a big impact on your overall health and wellness:
1. Include lean protein with every single meal
Protein is an important part of balanced nutrition, but many people go without it, particularly for breakfast and lunch. Data suggests that 20-30 grams of protein daily helps you feel full and maintain muscle mass. While chicken, pork and lean beef are protein-rich foods, meat isn’t the only option. For example, a half cup of beans contains as much protein as 1 ounce of broiled steak. Other meat-free protein sources include soy, yogurt and eggs.
2. Make raw nuts your snack of choice
When hunger pangs strike, it’s too easy to head to the vending machine or reach for prepackaged sweets. To keep hunger at bay and give your body wholesome nutrients that truly satisfy, keep several jars of raw nuts nearby for snacking. Just one or two handfuls of raw nuts a day can help control your caloric intake! Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans – all are great options that will fill you up without the extra oil and salt, plus they keep your energy high.
3. Move more every day
You don’t need to join a gym or make a dramatic fitness goal – just resolve to move around more every day, particularly if you have a sedentary job. The average adult sits for 15 hours a day, not including sleeping! Take a walk over lunch, park in the back of the parking lot or opt for the stairs over the elevator; it all adds up when done daily. If you find yourself forgetting, set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off every two hours as a reminder to take a 10-minute move-and-groove break.
4. Take a Nordic Naturals omega-3 supplement
Commit to taking one supplement in the new year: omega-3s. People all across the world don’t get enough omega-3, and correcting this can drastically reduce the risk of disease and mortality. A Harvard study found up to 96,000 people in the United States die each year from insufficient omega-3 intake. Omega-3 fats impact every single cell in the body and because they are essential fatty acids, they can’t be self-produced and must come from your diet. Select a pure omega-3 supplement like Nordic Naturals, which is produced without contaminants or impurities for superior quality.
5. Turn off electronics and tune into life
Your health and wellness go beyond what you eat and how much you exercise. Modern life is busy, and it’s easy to get distracted by email and mobile devices. Resolve to turn off your electronics at least once a day to focus on two things: yourself and your loved ones. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important, like friends, kids, your spouse and even you. Take time every day to tune out of the electronic stimuli and focus on things you’re grateful for – perhaps quiet moments by yourself, belly laughs with your kids or a tender hug from your partner.