A Dietitian Reveals The 4 Most Realistic Wellness Goals To Set For 2019

Be honest with me here, folks: Are you the kind of person who makes all the promises and resolutions when the new year rolls around to be, like, the healthiest person that ever lived? I get it. It seems like a great and totally doable idea to make all your gluten- and dairy-free vegan meals at home, do hot yoga at 6 a.m. before work, and give yourself daily facials. But you know what's also a great idea? Setting some realistic wellness goals for 2019.

Listen, life is challenging enough as it is without setting tons of hard-to-stick-to New Year's resolutions. There's something super positive to be said for wanting to shift certain aspects of your lifestyle, but why not do it in a way that gives you a little wiggle room and a lot of understanding if the road to getting there has some bumps and potholes? Incorporating new habits or mindsets into your day-to-day is totes doable, but in 2019, it's all about simplicity and approaching yourself with kindness, you feel me?

Below, Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, a nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition, shares some suggestions for wellness goals that are both empowering and approachable.

Develop a better relationship with social media

I won't lie: This one can be a real challenge. From coveting someone's wardrobe on Instagram to feeling a pang of envy for a consistently hilarious Twitter feed, the fuel for comparing and despairing is everywhere on social media platforms.

"Everywhere on social media, you’ll find people’s portrayals of their fantastic farcical lives," Auslander Moreno tells Elite Daily in an email. "Social media can create unrealistic and sad 'realities' for what your body should look like and do."

Her suggestion? Focus on your strengths and successes, and "mute any account that makes you feel anything but amused or inspired," she explains.

Experiment with eating intuitively

Intuitive eating might sound like it's a complicated thing, but it's really not. In short, it refers to "eating without feeling guilt or shame. You are listening to your body’s cues, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied," Lisa Samuels, RD, founder of The Happie House, told Elite Daily back in May 2018.

As Auslander Moreno explains, intuitive eating is all about honoring hunger and fullness, and it's an especially great strategy to experiment with if, in the past, you've flip-flopped from diet to diet, or you generally feel dissatisfied with what you're eating.

There's really no rules here, my friend; it's all about listening to your own hunger cues, and doing your best to choose foods that you love and nourish your body with the right nutrients — you know, most of the time.

Take small steps toward your goals

Someone once gave me a great piece of advice about the process of writing a book: You can't write a book without writing lots of single sentences. Mind officially blown, right?

Auslander Moreno says something similar, which can be applied to just about any wellness goal you might have in mind. It's all about focusing on the little things first.

"Don't set lofty goals that will be difficult to materialize; you’ll feel defeated and disappointed in yourself," she explains. "Be realistic. Set small, achievable, timely, and specific health goals. Things like 'I’m going to eat 2 fruits per day for the month of January' and then creating an action plan for that."

Stick to science-backed suggestions

In other words, maybe steer clear of whatever supplements your old friend from high school is peddling now, or those weird fitness program emails your aunt forwards you from time to time. Take initiative and do some research of your own about your wellness goals, Auslander Moreno suggests.

"Every three seconds you’ll see a digital ad or hear a friend or colleague dish about a new product, a new diet, or a new herb that will cure everything from athlete’s foot to cancer," she explains. "Some of these claims and products are largely marketing. We always consult literature, other experts, and our own clinical experience before we recommend a dietary intervention or even a specific food product."

Her personal wellness recommendations for nutrition and exercise? "Moving closer to the likes of generations past," she says. "Very many plants, some well-raised animal products, extremely few processed foods, and a LOT of movement and walking."