Tools to carry into the new year

By Carol Taylor, MCN, RDN, LD Registered Dietitian and Journalist

The end of year showers us with gift lists for spouses, friends, coworkers, and kids. But as we head into 2024, give the gift to yourself that can cost little in dollars but will require a little introspection and purpose but will give your much in return. The benefits will especially pay off as we focus on new year resolutions and health goals.

So, as we say goodbye to 2023, wave so long to food and diet myths, and misinformation that can lead us astray and potentially down a path that can actually damage our health. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your wellness journey:

  1. Be wary of quick fixes. No pill, powder or one food can give you better health. Those come with time, patience, and steady progress. Some quick fixes, extreme diets and supplements can be dangerous to your health.
  2. Get your information from trusted sources, such as dietitians who focus on science-based evidence and information. Many without training, education or a conscience are ready and willing to play on your emotions and dreams to get your money. Be mindful, ask questions, consider their qualifications, and choose carefully whom you let influence you.
  3. Focus on the things you will do and will eat that will support wellness such as lean protein at every meal and additional servings of fruits and vegetables. Yes, even frozen and canned are OK. People have been processing fruits and vegetables to preserve them for ages through freezing, drying, canning, pickling, and cooking them.
  4. Respect and be kind to your body. Gradually increase exercise. Even professional athletes don’t go from 0 to 60. Figure out your base level and gradually add time, distance, and weight to improve fitness. Going all in and all out too seen can lead to injury and setbacks.
  5. Don’t ignore the mental and psychological part of the journey. Health and wellbeing (not just wellness). When changing eating and exercise habits, it’s important to figure out the “why” of your current habits, what you’re willing to change long-term, and how to support those changes.

As you make boss moves to make the most of 2024, make those goals specific, achievable, and realistic so you can measure your progress over time. This way you can hold yourself accountable, track your progress, adjust, grow and blossom in the next year.


Carol Taylor, photographed May 28, 2013. Employee Mugs (Evans Caglage/The Dallas Morning News)

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