New Year’s resolutions that do not include weight loss

The Smart Chat

What do doctors think about weight loss resolutions?

Diets don’t usually stick. In fact, Carol Landau, Ph.D., clinical professor of psychiatry and medicine at the Alpert Medical School, Brown University shares “You’ll do better if you have goals that have to do not with weight, but with health”.

Dr. David Katz, MD agrees “A focus on weight loss tends to result in a quick-fix approach…instead focus on finding health results in lifestyle changes that are more likely to last”. So skip the weight loss goals and focus on a healthy lifestyle instead.

Five healthy New Year’s resolutions (That don’t include weight loss)

Reduce your stress and improve your mental health; get more sleep; exercise more frequently; commit to a healthy eating plan; make time for an activity that makes you happy

How do I keep my healthy New Year’s resolution?

It’s important to turn your resolutions into SMART goals before you jump in. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. They make it easy to set a clear goal and track your progress.

Health and wellness SMART goals

Each of these goals are specific, measurable, and timely. Only you can decide if you think they are achievable and relevant. Feel free to adjust the goals as necessary to fit your motivations and lifestyle.


Stress & mental health

I will write one positive thing I like about myself every day; I will take 5 minutes every morning for mindfulness meditation before I start my day; I will schedule one Saturday a month that is all free time; I will keep a journal and add one entry a day; I will counter each mental complaint by thinking of something positive; I will start a gratitude journal, writing one thing I appreciate every day; I will say “no” to activities that I don’t want to do and prioritize myself to avoid feeling burnt out due to obligations.


I will set an alarm to remind me to go to bed at 10pm every weekday; I will stop using my phone thirty minutes before bed; I will plan my sleep schedule every week so I get 8 hours of sleep a night; I will create a bedtime routine and follow it every night; I will not drink anything with caffeine after 4pm; I will purchase and put up blackout curtains and use them every night.


I will take a twenty minute walk after work every day (or during lunch); I will exercise for 45 minutes, three times a week, spending 20 minutes using resistance bands and 25 minutes on my exercise bike; I will sign up for an exercise class (yoga, spin, boxing, etc.) and go once a week; I will take an hour long bike ride outdoors once a week and if the weather is bad I will spend an hour on the treadmill instead; I will do cardio exercise for thirty minutes, four times a week, and sign up and complete a 5K in two months.

Healthy Eating

I will eat one fruit and/or vegetable with each meal, aiming for 5 servings a day;     I will stop drinking pop and only drink water, milk, and occasionally juice instead;     I will bring my lunch to work every day from home; I will only drink one cup of coffee a day; I will drink at least one liter of water every day; I will focus on mindful eating and stop eating when I feel full.


I will spend ½ hour a day reading a book I enjoy; I will sign up and attend a weekly class in a subject I enjoy (photography, art, writing, cooking, etc.); I will sign up for an adult sports league; I will sign up to volunteer once a month for an organization that I want to support; I will plan to go on a vacation within the next six months; I will call my parents (or other friends or loved ones) at least once a week; I will spend fifteen minutes a week learning a new language on my phone app.