As I tell my nutrition clients, looking ahead and planning are key to their success with establishing healthier eating habits. Take breakfast. When you plan to eat an orange + bowl of oatmeal with drizzle of honey & walnuts + cup of yogurt + hot coffee or tea, and write it down, your chances of eating a nutritious breakfast are better.
Take lunch. When you plan to enjoy a tuna salad & lettuce on whole wheat wrap + cucumber slices with hummus + apple or pear, and write it down, your chances of eating well at noon are better.
Take dinner. When you plan to do an easy stir-fry meal at home with colorful snow peas, carrots and chicken or tofu, and write it down, your chances of eating a satisfying evening meal are better. Get my drift?
Whether your goal is a light and nutritious meal or a future as a nutrition science professional, looking ahead and planning will always help get you there. How soon will it get you there? Well, the more consistent you are, and the more determined, the quicker success typically comes. I know it can seem tedious and slow at times, but writing down your plan, step-by-step, then practicing it day-by-day, is a realistic path to the finish line. When you veer off from your plan, don’t panic, but simply re-think your plan and get going again.
A Fresh Plan for the New Year
Getting revved up for new endeavors is a favorite pastime for New Year’s Day – right? Even better, I’d say, is to get a jump start on January 1st because you have professional goals to reach. Here’s a 5-step plan to launch you into the wonderful world of nutrition science careers.
5 Steps to Planning a Nutrition Science Career
- Read. There’s great variety in the field of nutrition science. So, read up on everything you can to find out what grabs you most. Honestly, you can do anything from work in a food company’s Quality Assurance (QA) lab to teach in a community college to develop & manage kids’ school gardens and cooking initiatives, and more.
- Experience. An experience is so worthwhile, no matter which field of nutrition science you choose to pursue. Try becoming a volunteer at your church and read a good nutrition book to the preschoolers or make a healthy snack with the junior high schoolers. Sign up for a shift at your local food bank or soup kitchen. Or, offer your time at a nearby hospital or nursing home and help with food services or catered events.
- Network. Social media is a very convenient way to connect with like-minded nutrition science fans, on your computer or smart phone. Set up your profile on Linked In and/or Twitter, then post a few times or more every week. When replies come your way, make sure to engage in the conversation and let your personality shine through.
- Commit. It’s smart to test out your plan, your dream, your destination in nutrition science. So, go ahead and register for a college class that interests you. Here are a few basic classes you may find: Introduction to Nutrition; Food Science Basics; Public Health Nutrition; Food Microbiology; Nutrition & Health Promotion; or Nutritional Psychology.
- Record. Now, write down your timeline for steps #1-4, with a bullet-pointed action plan for each. Post your timeline document/poster in a place where you’ll see it every day. Where will that be for you – the bathroom mirror, the kitchen fridge, or front-and-center on your laptop?
A Happier New Year
Looking ahead to a fresh plan for the New Year is an exciting horizon, no doubt about it. So, give it all the positive energy you can. Get excited and get started now to make it a Happier New Year for you!
What will your step #2 involve and how will you make it happen?