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New Year’s Health Goals You Can Actually Achieve!

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

New Year's health goals

Have you set your New Year's resolutions yet? Why not set some New Year's health goals that you can actually achieve?

If you need ideas for New Year's health goals, consider the New Year's resolutions below to make lifelong changes you can stick with long term!

You don't have to go “all or nothing” when creating New Year's health goals this season.

Choosing just a few of these simple goals can drastically improve your health, wellness, and overall quality of life!

Don't set yourself up for failure. Here's the key to setting realistic fitness goals.

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New Year's Health Goals You Can Actually Achieve!

Eliminate Soda

If soda is a staple in your diet, consider giving it up as one of your New Year's health goals or at least cut back on it.

Just one can of soda often contains 150 calories, nearly all of which are from added sugar.

Even if eliminating soda is all you choose for a New Year's resolution, nixing just 2 cans of soda daily can help you drop 1/2 to 1 pound of body weight each week!

Instead of soda choose water, calorie-free club soda, flavored carbonated water, coffee, or tea.

Or replace soda with protein shakes, which boost satiety to keep you full longer.

DON'T replace soda with sweet tea, lemonade, sports drinks, or other sugar-sweetened beverages — or even diet soda!

Weigh Yourself Every Day

If you don't have a scale at home, consider getting one for the new year, and weigh yourself every day.

If weight loss is your goal, studies show daily weigh-ins produce greater weight loss than weighing yourself less often.

Weigh yourself at the same time each day, preferably in the morning when you first wake up.

Record the results in a journal. If your goal is weight loss, aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Make diet, exercise, or sleep changes if you weigh more than you'd like to, and don't give up!

Track Your Water Intake

You probably already know it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain an ideal weight and stay healthy.

However, it's often difficult to know how much water you're really drinking — especially if your schedule is busy.

As one of your New Year's health goals, consider getting a refillable water bottle that tracks your fluid intake!

While everybody is different, many women should aim for at least 12 cups of fluid throughout the day.

If your urine is light yellow or clear in color, you're likely getting enough water.

Aim to drink at least 2 cups of water when you wake up each morning.

If weight loss is your goal, drink 2 cups of water before each meal and snack too!

Have Indoor Workout Options

Whether it's cold outside and you don't feel like leaving home, you're in quarantine, or your favorite gym is closed, have indoor workout options so you don't have to skip workouts entirely.

Options to consider include getting a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine.

Climb stairs, use an indoor trampoline, jump rope, lift weights, do MIRROR at-home workouts, or try Fit Mother Project fat-burning workouts for busy moms!

This video will help you create your own home workout plan for weight loss and toning!

Set Vegetable Intake Goals

Many Americans don't eat enough vegetables, which make up one of the most important food groups.

Veggies are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

As one of your New Year's health goals, track your vegetable intake to ensure you meet daily recommendations.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest women consume 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily to maintain optimal health.

Choose a variety of vegetables to meet this goal.

Eat broccoli, carrots, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, cucumbers, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and more.

Choose Protein Shakes or Bars

Adding protein shakes or bars to daily meal plans is the perfect New Year's health goal for numerous reasons.

Protein keeps your metabolism high, helps you build or maintain muscle mass, and boosts satiety.

If weight loss is your goal, replace some meals or snacks with protein shakes (or bars) to reduce calories without feeling hungry.

Creating homemade protein smoothies means you can add nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, or heart-healthy fats (nut butter, omega-3 oil, etc.) to shakes to enhance the nutrition content.

Steer clear of high-sugar protein shakes and bars.

How much protein do we need per day? Watch this video to calculate your daily protein intake!

Drink Less Alcohol

One of the best (and often easiest) New Year's health goals is to drink less alcohol or eliminate it altogether.

Doing so is an excellent way to reduce empty calories and help you feel better overall.

Nixing alcohol means you can lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer — including mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, colon, rectum, liver, and breast cancer.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation, which equates to one drink or less per day for women.

Say No to Fried Foods

Another important New Year's health goal is to limit or avoid fried foods.

Examples include french fries, fried cheese curds, fried shrimp, fish, or chicken, mozzarella sticks, fried okra, onion rings, chicken fried steak, and other fried foods.

Instead, choose roasted sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish, reduced-fat (non-fried) cheese, sauteed okra or onions, and very lean organic red meats.

Doing so helps you reduce empty calories while maintaining the nutritional content of some of your favorite whole foods.

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Eat More Soups and Salads

Eating more soup and salad is an excellent New Year's health goal for numerous reasons.

Salad is low in calories and counts as a serving of vegetables.

Avoid excessive salad dressing, especially brands containing a lot of added sugar.

As long as you choose broth-based (reduced-sodium as needed) soups containing lean meat, poultry, or seafood plus vegetables instead of cream-based soups, you have a light lunch or dinner that fills you up without the extra calories.

Work soups and salads into your daily or weekly menus this New Year! Here are some recipes for salads and soups to get you started!

Nix White Bread

If you eat white bread (or white rice, regular pasta, white dinner rolls, or other refined grains), eliminate it as part of a New Year's resolution you can stick with long term.

This health goal is one of the easiest to follow.

Replace white bread with whole-grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain cereal, or other whole grains.

You can also replace refined grains with corn, peas, beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, or other starchy vegetables.

Making this simple swap helps you add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meal plan and stay full longer.

Find an Active Hobby

If you're seeking a new hobby this New Year, make sure it's an active one!

Examples include hiking, training for a race, snowboarding, skiing, swimming, rollerblade skating, ice skating, playing golf, horseback riding, gardening, playing tennis, walking a new dog, or snowshoeing.

Any activity that keeps your body moving is beneficial for your health.

Add active hobbies to your daily routine in addition to regular workouts.

Recruit friends and family to join you!

Keep a Food Journal

To get the full picture of what you're eating in a day, it's helpful to write it down in a journal.

Or, you can use fitness trackers and health apps.

Count calories if you'd like but you don't have to!

Simply record the type and quantity of food you eat so you can better visualize it and make changes as needed.

Women seeking healthy weight management can use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans meal plans as a guide, which include:

  • 2-3 cups of vegetables
  • 1-2 cups of fruits
  • 3 cups of dairy foods or plant-based equivalents
  • 5-6 ounces of protein foods
  • 5-6 ounces of grains
  • 5-6 teaspoons of oils or other healthy fats

These are general recommendations as every woman is different, but you can use this meal plan as a guideline.

If weight loss is your goal, reduce your current calorie intake by about 500-1,000 per day to shed about 1-2 pounds weekly.

Learn how to count calories to lose weight with our Calorie Calculator for weight loss!

Eat Protein at Each Meal

Protein is a key component of a healthy diet, and a nutrient you might not be getting enough of.

Make sure to choose a protein-rich food at each meal and snack to boost satiety, maintain muscle mass, and keep your metabolism high.

Examples include:

  • Grilled chicken, turkey, or duck
  • Very lean, organic red meat
  • Fish, shrimp, and other seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and milk
  • Reduced-fat cheese
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
  • Hummus
  • Low-sugar protein shakes and bars

When you fill your plate up at mealtime, make sure at least one-fourth of the plate contains protein foods.

Set Health Parameter Goals

Setting goals for health parameters, and tracking them regularly, is an excellent way to improve your overall health and wellness.

Set blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body weight, and waist circumference goals.

Check-in with your doctor if you need help setting personalized New Year's health goals.

They might recommend you achieve blood pressure of 120/80, total cholesterol of 200 milligrams or less, a blood sugar of fewer than 140 milligrams per deciliter, and a waist circumference of fewer than 35 inches around.

Get a Standing Computer Desk

As a New Year's health goal this season, sit down less by getting a standing computer desk!

Studies show that sitting down for long time periods is associated with all-cause death rates, as it increases your risk of weight gain and chronic diseases.

Stand up vs. sitting down whenever you can and take periodic walking, stair climbing, or exercise breaks throughout the day.

Doing so helps you burn extra calories, gets your blood pumping, keeps energy levels high, and aids in healthy weight management.

Eat More Healthy Fats

Consuming healthy fat is an important New Year's health goal for numerous reasons.

Fats help you feel full, which can reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.

Nutritious fats are crucial for maintaining a healthy heart, optimizing brain health, and having healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Dietary fat makes it possible for your body to properly absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K).

Add healthy fat to each meal or snack.

Choose nuts, seeds, nut butter, olive oil, other plant oils, fatty fish, hummus, avocados, or olives.

These 7 principles of nutrition are always true, no matter what your diet consists of. Find out what you SHOULDN’T be eating.

Take Dietary Supplements

If you don't already take dietary supplements for women, now's the time to make it a New Year's health goal!

Supplements help you meet nutritional needs your diet might lack.

Examples of supplements for women to consider include:

  • Multivitamins
  • Omega 3s
  • Fiber
  • Probiotics
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Choline
  • Powdered greens
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Isoflavones

Ask your doctor before you choose dietary supplements, especially if you take any medications.

Set Sleep Goals

Now's the time to focus on getting a good night's rest.

Sleep is more important than you might think for overall health, wellness, and anti-aging.

Many adults don't get sufficient amounts of sleep on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, sleep deprivation puts you at risk of accidents, problems concentrating, a weak immune system, increases in appetite, weight gain, overweight, and obesity.

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to achieve optimal health.

Set a regular bedtime and stick with it as much as possible.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and blue light (phone screens, computer screens, televisions, tablets, etc.) right before bedtime.

Have a light snack containing protein before bed to curb hunger.

Find out why sleep is important and how getting enough quality sleep can help you lose weight.

Stretch Every Day

Set New Year's health goals that offer you a better quality of life, reduce your risk of injuries, and alleviate stress.

Make stretching part of your daily routine.

Try yoga, Pilates, or stretch on your own for at least 10 minutes daily to experience improvements in range of motion, strength, flexibility, and overall fitness!

Over time you can expect less stiffness, chronic pain reduction, and improved athletic performance.

Try assisted stretching with exercise bands or get a professional massage periodically to loosen up tight or overworked muscles.

Join a Healthy Lifestyle Program

If weight loss happens to be one of your New Year's health goals, join an organized weight loss program designed for women to improve your chance of long-term healthy weight maintenance.

When you sign up for a Fit Mother Project plan, you receive custom meal plans, fat-burning workouts, health coaching support, weekly newsletters, and much more!

Make your New Year's health goals the best yet!

Begin a health or weight loss journey by trying the Fit Mother Project free meal plans and workouts today!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on New Year's health goals.

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