Statistics, self-help, and spices: help with keeping your New Year’s resolutions

new-year-weight-loss-resolution-statistic-brain2017, by the numbers. Did you make any resolutions for the new year? According to data site StatisticBrain, nearly half of Americans usually make a resolution of some sort every year.

While nearly 3/4 of us are going strong with our resolutions after one week (have you seen the crowds at the gym this week?), by mid-year, only about 3/5 of us are still sticking to our goals. That figure drops to less than half of resolution-makers by the end of the calendar year, and only 9% of people “feel they were successful” in achieving their resolution.

Why such dismal results? Could be for any number of reasons, but when people are polled reasons for abandoning resolutions, or being unsatisfied with the results, a few main themes emerge: resolutions were too vague, too broad, too ambitious, or were not measurable, incremental, and accountable.

Set yourself up to succeed.  Take a new perspective on your annual resolution-making, and try these six self-help tips for setting goals you can keep:

calvin-and-hobbesMake your resolution specific — and measurable.  Resolved to “get in shape” in 2017? Refine that resolution so that you are working toward one particular aspect of fitness, that you can track and measure as you go: an improved BMI, running a 5K next fall, doing fifty sit-ups, or walking around Gray’s Lake in under 45 minutes.

Make change incrementally (over the long term). Break a big goal into smaller, manageable bite-sized pieces. “Get organized” with a plan to clean out and organize one cupboard per week. Start to “get fit” by trying out one beginner-level weekly class before upping your workout routine from zero to five times a week.

If it’s not secret – tell them about it. – choose someone to be accountable to, as you work on developing new habits.

Make time. “Finding” time for keeping resolutions can be hard – look at is as though you are “making” time to pursue your goals instead, even if that means literally scheduling an appointment on the calendar for that weeknight workout or weekend cupboard de-cluttering.

Doing little > doing nothing at all. Keeping your new year’s resolution is not an everything-or-nothing proposition. If you can’t do it all right now, do as much as you can. Can’t fit in an hour-long workout? A good stretch and fifteen minutes’ brisk walk is good enough for today. Making it just part of the way to an incremental goal is still progress!

Keep going. If you struggle to meet a milestone, or suffer a setback, don’t give up! Try to put struggles into perspective if you can: that plate of loaded french fries were delicious, and you’ll have an opportunity for a fresh start and healthier eating tomorrow.


Spices, you say? Yes, of course – at AllSpice, we always find a way to work spices (and oils and balsamics, and other tasty ingredients) into the solutions to our biggest challenges.

So many new year’s resolutions revolve around three big themes: healthier living, eating well, and cleaning and organizing your life.  That’s the message we see this week in the newspapers and magazines, and all of the other ads that I see: we’re working out, let’s start eating better, we’ll be getting organized and cleaning up.

So those sorts of resolutions naturally lead us to think about (surprise) making some tweaks to what we’re doing. eating, and contemplating a cleanup of the spice cabinet.

spicerackGet tidy. Dried herbs and spices, and peppers and salts, stored in a cool, dry place, have a long shelf life. Opinions vary as to just how long, but here’s a good overview of how long spices (and other culinary ingredients) will keep.

Get organized. If you want to really go big with your the New Year’s reorganization, we have some gorgeous spice racks to help you organize your spices as well.  We have spice racks that sit neatly on the counter or in the cupboard (right, $45), and other racks that hang on your wall (below).

Reminder: this is also a great time to use that AllSpice gift certificate that you might have recently received.


Eat well. We won’t make health claims, but we can say that AllSpice herbs and spices, and our gourmet oils and fine balsamic vinegars, are an easy, inexpensive way to add great flavor to dishes without adding many extra calories (often adding none at all!).

herbs-bouquet-garniAllSpice owner Rory Brown shared some of his favorite flavors for mid-winter cooking: “One of my favorite go-to spice blends I use this time of year is Bouquet Garni ($4.45 1/2 Cup jar). It’s the perfect addition to soups on these cold winter days. When days are short and cold outside, I tend to use the slow cooker more so that my dinner is ready when I get home and I have more time to relax in the evening.

He continues: “I’ve been using more gourmet oils and deep balsamic vinegars for roasting winter vegetables that accompany my dinners – and also for making salads.   Some of my favorite pairings this time of year are Fig Balsamic ($14.75/bottle) and Blood Orange Olive Oil ($15.50/bottle) for salads, and I match Chipotle Chile Olive Oil ($14.75/bottle) for roasting vegetable with a little drizzle of Fig Balsamic to dress it up when I take the pan out of the oven.

Want more ideas? Browse over 1,000 entries in our recipe database, and peruse over five years’ worth of articles on the AllSpice blog.

Calvin and Hobbes comic credit
New Year’s resolutions graph via (where there’s also a nice week-long meal plan and exercise chart)