Abbott Shares How to Make Good Choices Year-Round

Originally published at Abbott ranked No. 3 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.


Studies show that while around 44% of Americans make resolutions, less than 20% of that number maintain them. To compound the issue, it often takes little time — and usually zero effort — to abandon the healthiest hopes.

And resolutions do often revolve around our health. Three of the most traditionally popular goals are to improve fitness (39%), lose weight (37%) and eat healthier (33%). So why the disconnect between what we want to accomplish and our ability to do so?

Frame and Focus

Turns out that the intrapersonal relationship between mind and body may benefit from the same qualities we bring to our best interpersonal relationships: being SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely), practicing patience and forgiveness and establishing a sustainable foundation.

The first step, according to Amy Sharn, MS, RDN, LD, Abbott Senior Nutrition Scientist, is how you frame the challenge. “The word ‘resolutions’ can have a negative connotation. It implies we’ve done something bad and need to remove it from our lives. I prefer the idea of establishing ‘intentions.’

“When we focus on what we can add to our lives, rather than take away, it puts us in a better place to follow through on behavior change. Otherwise, we may feel successful for a few days because we’ve restricted ourselves, but then we hit the weekend and fall off the wagon.”

Positive change is what Sharn’s approach is all about. The focus is less on removing high-carb, high-fat options that won’t keep us full for long and more on filling us up with lean proteins (chicken, fish, lentils), whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice) and the copious colors found in fruits and vegetables, in proportions like those set out on useful sites such as the USDA’s and Canada Food Guide.

Long-term success lies in the details. “One way we mistakenly undo resolutions is by being too broad. Focus on actions,” Sharn said. “We need to be intentional, which is different than merely having good intentions.”



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