• Felicia Newell, RD, BSc, MSc(c) Sustain Nutrition

9 Proven Tips To Achieving Your Health and Wellness Goals

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Weight Loss St. John's | Newfoundland | New Years Resolutions | Weight Loss



For the most part, you understand what a healthy diet consists of. But you may feel like sometimes it just doesn't all come together.

You want to take control of you're health, but are a little confused as to why information varies so much online and how to actually execute a healthy eating plan that works for you.

I want to help.

I pulled together some of my top resources to help you do what you ultimately want most: improve your health and maximize your energy, all while living a busy and sometimes hectic lifestyle. If you know me, I only share what works LONG-TERM.

The reality for many is that life can get hectic at times. With kids (if you have em'), work, volunteering, responsibilities, housework, etc., etc., etc.

Just the thought of it all is overwhelming. As a mom of four small children, with a full-time job, a business, and a husband who also works, I know how hard it can be. As a nutritionist/dietitian/health coach, I also know how important good nutrition is and that it can become a real challenge when everyone is so busy.

Getting off track sometimes is expected, but we all know your body and mind feels MUCH better when you're into a healthier routine (and research shows this as well). Plus being healthy is important for disease prevention. You don’t have to be perfect of course (and never do, that's why I follow the 80/20 rule)…but you can get back into a healthier routine (or start one, or even just refreshen on how to stay on track), your body and mind will thank you.

Here are 9 proven (by research and practice) strategies to achieving your health and wellness goals:

1. Focus

Summer happened. Over-indulgence happened, you might have eaten more than you should have, drank more than you should have, stayed up later than you should have, exercised less than you should have…but now we need to re-focus. For our own sanity of course.

Draw a line in the sand.

Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose over the summer. It is a BUSY time! Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused.

One of the first steps to making healthy changes is finding your motivation, and I have a blog post here to help you do that after you’re done reading this post.

I also have a completely free 2 week challenge that starts Monday. Where you will get tons of support from myself (a registered health professional!) as well as others in the challenge. Sign up here!

2. Set Small Goals

If taking on all of these steps, or too many changes is too overwhelming for you, you wouldn’t be alone! I have worked with countless people who think things should be straightforward, and when they’re not (because making changes never is), they’re hard on themselves and give up. I talk more about this in this short YouTube video.

Many people have much better success when they set smaller, more realistic, and most of the time ‘action-oriented’ goals to reach their larger goals. That way, when you are able to ‘check’ off that you reached this smaller goal, you’ll get the psychological boost knowing that you did it. Also, all of the small goals will add up to big, lasting changes over time!

So for example, say if weight loss is your ultimate goal. One smaller goal (and you may have several of these) may be to do this by cutting down your nighttime eating to only 200 calories max, 5 days per week, and no more than 350 calories the other two days. This is just one example, and again you may have many different goals. Then check in with yourself every two weeks to see how you're doing with the goals.

For more information on setting smart goals, download this handout.

3. Mindset Is Key!

Many people don’t realize that it is only their mindset that is getting in the way. In short, your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your reality.

Telling yourself that you can’t do something, or that something is too hard, or that you don’t have time, will only reinforce those thoughts into reality. Instead of this approach, try another one. Say something positive to counteract these statements, such as, “I know I am busy, but I will try to find the time”, “I know I have struggled in the past, but many people have struggles before they reach success, so I CAN do this.” I promise you that saying these things over and over will help you not only feel better, but will start encouraging you to take more action to reach your goals.

The most important thing to remember, is that you will have setbacks. Like will get in the way at times. We deal with that as it comes, we get re-inspired and re-motivated, we learn from our setbacks, we are not hard on ourselves (because that doesn’t help anybody), and we KEEP GOING. Success is the only option. ;)

4. Plan (I know, I can virtually see some eye rolls…hear me out first though)

A little planning now will save time in the long run. So, what can you do? The main thing – and yes, I know you’ve heard it before – is to plan, plan, plan. “Fail to plan; plan to fail.” It sucks, but it’s true.

I can hear you saying: “Ain't nobody got time for dat!” (or, is that saying too old now?)

But anyway, know this: by investing time to plan ahead you save time in the long run and reduce stress during your very busy days (and who couldn't use that?).

Here are some tips for meal planning:

  • Do you already grocery shop weekly? Take a few minutes before heading out to scan the contents of your pantry and fridge. Take note of healthy meals your family already likes to eat and make sure you have the ingredients for those. When we are busy we reach for what is convenient to eat so make healthy foods the convenient choice.

  • Better yet – bring less amounts of less healthy choices into your home in the first place (because I would never tell you that you have to completely give up things you love, just have less of it, and have your diet be overall healthier items).

  • Prep at least one batch of a food item each week. You can slowly work towards prepping more over time, but for now, I would start off small. Pick a couple of instances during the week where you find you don’t make the best choices or when you're just too rushed (e.g., breakfast, snacks, or suppertime), and then 1-2 items (starting off) to prep to help during those times.

  • Choose a day of the week (e.g., Sunday, or even a couple hours on Saturday and a couple on Sunday) and prep one or several items.

Basic Meal Prep Examples (to get you started):

The below examples could all be done at once, or just try 1-2 at a time. Flavour with the basics to your taste (small amount of salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, curry powder, red pepper flakes, thyme, Italian seasoning, etc.) and different epicure seasonings to make things easier, and you can get more experimental with your flavourings over time.

Example 1: Cook a whole chicken, and several chicken breasts. This could be used for lunches for everyone, and perhaps 1-2 meals depending on how many you make.

Example 2: Cut up veggies such as carrots, peppers, celery, etc. These can be used as snacks to have with hummus, or to be quickly boiled, sautéed, or steamed in the microwave to have with a meal.

Example 3: Cook a large batch of quinoa (or any other grain such as bulgar or wild rice, or even beans or lentils). This could be added to salads to make more filling, or as a side with a meal.

Example 4: Roast a large amount of veggies – e.g., sweet potato, peppers, squash, etc. to use as sides for meals throughout the week.

Example 5: Cook a large amount of ground turkey