Tip: Sustain your New Year’s resolutions through the whole year by setting motivating goals, planning for unsafe zones, revising your plan when needed, and having compassion for yourself.

by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group


The start of a new year inspires many of us to make smarter food choices so we can feel our best. Come January 1, we create a plan and embark on it with enthusiasm. By late January, we frequently hit a roadblock – life gets busy, we catch the flu, whatever the reason – we abandon our plan and return to our old habits, feeling defeated. Sound familiar? Resolutions need not fall by the wayside come February. Small shifts in the way we approach change can help sustain that change until it becomes our new “normal.”

Envision Your Goals

Imagine in detail what it will feel like to have reached your goals. What will life be like when you have constant energy throughout the day, when your body feels its best, and when you are feeding your family nourishing food that will help them reach their full potential? Write it down or draw a picture to keep this feeling of success at the forefront of your mind. When you are having a rough day, this vision of your best self will remind you of why you are making these changes and will help keep you motivated.

Plan for Unsafe Zones

At home, you have control over what you feed yourself and your family, but sticking to your food plan is more challenging when you are at restaurants or parties. Set yourself up for success in these potentially unsafe zones by having a plan. Preview a restaurant’s menu to select nourishing options before you dine there. When going to a potluck, bring a dish that fits within your plan. Your host will love our sweet and zesty Grilled Chicken with Kale Apple Cranberry Salad, and you will love that it provides lean protein and is brimming with nutrients and fiber.

Revise Your Plan To Fit Your Style

As you progress along your journey of change and learn more about yourself, you may find you need to revise your plan to better fit you. Are you succeeding in some ways but consistently falling short in others? These stumbling blocks can help you understand your triggers and further refine your plan. Be honest about whether you can do things in moderation or if you need to abstain in some areas. Your best plan is one that you will stick to!

Allow Yourself a Do-Over When You Need One

Changing behaviors that you have formed over decades won’t happen overnight, and if you are like the rest of us, you will likely encounter some bumps in the road toward change. Don’t be discouraged! Be compassionate with yourself. Feel empowered by the steps you are taking to live a happy, productive, healthy life. You get as many do-overs as you need, as long as you learn from them. Remember, changes don’t need to happen only in January – every new day is an opportunity to bring yourself closer to feeling your best.

You will love the way you feel!

The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.