Nutrition and wellness influencer Amanda Rocchio shares her science-backed tips and tricks for success in the New Year.
The new year provides a symbolic fresh start to assess your priorities, values, and hopes for the future. It’s a time when millions make resolutions, setting goals for the months ahead.
Amanda Rocchio, founder of MeowMeix, a digital community focused on helping people take a proactive role in their health, spoke to Healthline to provide her perspective on New Year’s resolutions.
Rocchio, a health, nutrition, and fitness influencer with over 1.4 million followers on Instagram, shares that there are science-backed tips and tricks for setting and attaining resolutions to bring out your best self.
“My overall goal is focusing on family and being present with my kid this year,” says Rocchio.
Rocchio is a new mother of a 5-month-old infant. She shares that having a baby shifted her attention from work to spending time with her family. Being a parent reinforced the importance of being present not just when it comes to family but also in other aspects of her life.
Rocchio’s resolutions include goals for her business and her healthy lifestyle, too. “Maintenance mode on those two things is still a lot of work,” says Rocchio. She shares that personal wellness goals are important for her mental health.
One of Rocchio’s priorities is giving 100% to whatever it is she’s doing at that moment. Being present with her family helps ensure she can also be present when doing other things.
Research links mindfulness and attention to the present moment to improved psychological health.
But Rocchio acknowledges that being present is easier said than done. “We’ve got these phones that are the ultimate distraction,” says Rocchio. “Especially running an online community, I can always be on my phone.”
How does Rocchio plan to address this? “I’m kind of more realistic with how I spend my time and saying no to more things,” says Rocchio.
Rocchio says it’s important to know that when you set a goal and discover it’s not a good fit, you don’t have to cling to it.
“It’s OK to pivot,” she says.
“For example, I thought maybe I wanted to be a fitness instructor, so I took a yoga teacher training course, which was really cool. Then I taught a couple of classes. I spent this money, did all this work, and then I realized this is not a fit for me.”
This experience taught Rocchio that even when you’ve spent some money and time on a goal, if it’s not right for you, that may be an indication it’s time to change directions, set new goals, and “cut your losses.”
Evidence suggests that when you fail to meet a goal, you can experience a hit to your self-confidence and may blame yourself for what you perceive as a failure. Reassessing your emotional attachments to a specific goal outcome and what you perceive as success may help reduce frustration.
Using “emotion reappraisal,” changing how you react emotionally to situations can lead you in a new direction that may ultimately be a better fit.
“One thing I have learned is you can’t do it all,” says Rocchio. “It is possible to set more than one goal, but make sure they are synergistic.”
“Getting rid of the all-or-nothing mentality, that’s number one.” It can quickly lead to you quitting and having a bad day, says Rocchio.
“Even if you set lofty goals, I always remind myself that something is better than nothing. Look more at the weekly progress instead of the daily progress,” says Rocchio.
One mindset hack Rocchio uses is to set macro- and micro-goals. Macro-goals are your larger overall goals, and micro-goals are smaller goals.
For instance, Rocchio shares that a micro-goal might involve something like not being on your phone while you spend an hour with your child or working out 3 days a week.
“Focus on what habits you need to develop to achieve these goals instead of just focusing on the goal itself,” says Rocchio.
“I’m a huge fan of lists,” says Rocchio. “Then you get the dopamine hit just from crossing things off your list.” She explains that if you have a big goal and can’t cross it off your list for months, accomplishing micro goals can give you a micro wind of motivation.
“I’m always a big fan of a gratitude journal that has ‘What are the three things you want to get done today?’ I love the 5-minute journal.” The 5-minute journal is a structured gratitude journal based on positive psychology research. It helps you begin and end your day with gratitude and self-reflection.
Research consistently links higher levels of gratitude to increased self-satisfaction and wellness.
“I think you’ll surprise yourself if you stay consistent,” says Rocchio.
She shares an example from her own life. “Remember when Instagram used to be photos? Remember those days? Now it’s all video. Let me tell you, I sucked at video, was truly awful,” says Rocchio.
Though Rocchio knew where she wanted to be with her video content, she also knew she couldn’t get there overnight.
“The other year, I had a goal of really just getting good with video, being consistent with video, and working on my talking to camera skills. At first, I was very uncomfortable. I wasn’t loving where I was at, but I did it, and I posted it anyway.”
After around 6 months, Rocchio noticed her editing and styling had improved, and she felt more comfortable talking to the camera.
“It’s just crazy how you can surprise yourself if you stay consistent and push through the parts where you’re like, ‘Wow, I kind of suck at this right now,’” says Rocchio. “As they always say, don’t compare your day one to someone’s day 90 or day one to 360. You’ve got to start with where you’re at.”
Studies indicate that persistently working on a task, even when challenging or difficult, is correlated to better performance.
“I like to think of goal-setting in three different categories — the power of three. I set my family goals, my mental health/well-being goals, and then my work goals,” says Rocchio.
When thinking of goals for the three categories, Rocchio recommends making sure they’re synergistic.
Being present is one of Amanda Rocchio’s top resolutions for 2023, and research validates that it may result in greater success in achieving goals overall.
If you’re having trouble sticking to your goals, Rocchio also recommends setting macro- and micro-goals, focusing on consistency, getting away from an all-or-nothing mentality, and being open to changing things up if you realize your current goals aren’t right for you.
When your resolutions don’t quite pan out as you planned, remember that you’re not a failure. Think of the experience as a lesson that can guide you in a new direction.