Getting Real About New Year’s Resolutions

Well, another year has flown by and now it’s 2012. For many people, this means it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions into action. Many classic goals involve improving exercise and diet habits. While we would like to support these resolutions in theory, let’s get real. People make the same resolutions year after year because they never stick! Instead of the tried-and-true, tried-and-failed resolutions of yore, we’ve come up with suggestions to spice up your eating and drinking in 2012… and yeah, be a little healthier, too.

Here’s a look at the four classic New Year’s eating/drinking resolutions…and the ES fixes

1. Drink Less Alcohol

What? No. We can’t even to begin to explain why this plan is destined to fail. But for starters, let’s get real, we even infuse our popsicles with booze. So… come on.

ES Says: Vow to try new alcohols. We’ve all had vodka, but have you tried akavit? Lillet? Aperol? Or, learn to love an alcohol you don’t like. Maybe you had a bad experience with gin in college, but it’s time to give your least favorite spirit the ol’… college try.

2. Lose Weight by Eating Diet Foods

Or some variation of this. We’ve all seen the abundance of “healthy,” low calorie, low fat, low flavor meals in the frozen food aisles. The meal replacement bars and shakes. The light yogurt artificially flavored to supposedly taste like pie. You’ll try to eat them faithfully, but you know after a couple days you’ll be cranky, dissatisfied, and frustrated.

ES Says: Just go back to basics! It’s just as easy to make a fresh salad as it is to microwave a frozen Lean Cuisine pizza. Or make a big batch of homemade soup and eat it for lunch every day. There are plenty options out there that are healthier than pre-made, preservative-laden diet foods.

3. Drink More Water

Sure, water is great! We should all drink more water. But will we? No, we will not. We will probably continue to drink the same amounts of water we did in 2011. Some days we will be thirsty and drink more, other days we are not thirsty andwill  drink less.

ES Says:  Just keep drinking the same amount of water you always have. Everything will be fine. BUT! For extra hydration and health, why not pepper your water-drinking schedule with some coconut water? Available in all sorts of fruity flavors, coconut water has tons of potassium and electrolytes your body craves, and it helps ease hangovers (see resolution #1). Endless Simmer loves it, and so does Rihanna. Can’t argue with that.

4. Keep Small Snacks on Hand 

We’ve already covered how much we hate the whole “just a handful of almonds!” thing. Small snacks are fine, but let’s not pretend that they are especially filling or exciting when that’s all you allow yourself every day. You’ll get stuck in a rut.

ES Says: Don’t follow some cliche regimen of tide-me-overs. Know what else will keep you from overeating when you have the munchies at the office? Changing it up! Keep snacking interesting by trying new things. Roast your own spiced nuts. Make kale chips. Type your favorite ingredient into FoodGawker and see where the internet takes you.

5. Join the Gym

Okay, to be fair, if you want to exercise more to get in shape for the new year, the gym is a good place to start. But it can be difficult to fit regular gym trips into your busy schedule. If you are only relying on the gym as your sole source of exercise, results may not be as amazing as you would hope.

ES Says: A fun game to play is to find new watering holes in your neighborhood that are within walking distance. If you don’t have time to hit the gym every day, you can at least walk to the restaurant/bar instead of drive there! (Granted, this works better for city dwellers than our suburban and rural friends.) Walking burns calories and aids in digestion. Fitness!

And… after all this, there are still going to be days when you just go for broke and binge on a wonderland of deep fried foods (or weeks, or months, whatever, ES, don’t judge). Enjoy these moments! We endorse this indulgent behavior more than all healthy resolutions combined.

(Photo: mtv)

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  • erica January 3, 2012  

    for me, january is perfect for giving up alcohol for a while. no holidays, nothing but gut staring at me for motivation, and no one i know has birthdays (and honestly, i’m not going to get wasted for MLK’s Bday if i don’t for Jesus’).

  • John January 4, 2012  

    Definitely going to take you up on your alcohol resolution. I haven’t been able to look Black Velvet in the eye since it and its pal eggnog helped me ring in the 00’s, but I think it’s time to mend that bridge.

  • Natalie January 4, 2012  

    Love this post – seriously. All those have been on my resolution list at one time or another and your ‘keep it real’ attitude certainly illustrates the way they each turned out for me. I particularly love the idea of checking out new watering holes instead of joining a gym. ha!

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