By Jessica Domel

We talk a lot about eating healthy–especially this time of the year.

We start off a new year with a renewed spirit and a greater desire to be better than we’ve ever been. New year. New you.

It’s wonderful to wake up one day with this great sense of hope surging through your veins like a warm cup of coffee on a cold day.

But many times, everyday life gets in our way. WE get in our own way.

We often juggle work, family and other responsibilities with grace and ease. But we forget that lofty goal of quadrupling the amount of time we’ll dedicate to ourselves and our bodies.

And we lose that sense of hope. That feeling that we can do anything.

So what do we do? Can we still strive to be the best we can be?

Of course.

The key is moderation.

If you don’t work out any at all now, don’t force yourself to ride a bike for an hour every day. Many people get burned out that way. I do.

If you eat fast food daily, don’t vow to never touch fast food again. I’m no doctor, but every time I’ve tried that, I’ve ended up craving french fries at 2 a.m. and end up ultimately destroying my own plan.

We can all be better people, but we can’t change overnight.

The new dietary guidelines, released last week, offer some help to those encouraging themselves and their families to eat better.

It encourages healthy eating patterns, like those recommended by Texas farm mom and licensed and registered dietitian Amy Halfmann. And it encourages a variety of foods like proteins, including meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy products, grains and more.

The guidelines also urge us to cut down on the amount of sugar and sodium we consume daily.

If you think about it, you can make plenty of tasty and satisfying meals using the items from the list! Vegetables. Proteins. Fruit. Dairy products. Grain. Use a little bit of them all or mix and match.

Sticking to your resolutions, your diet goals and/or your plans to be a better you don’t have to be hard. It just takes a series of small improvements and someone who is willing and able to follow through on the New Year’s Eve promises.