Congratulations! You made it to 2022. By now, you’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution or three. Yet, according to Psychology Today, 50% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Wah-wah! But don’t despair — we’re here to help you get your new year started the right way. Let’s talk about ten tips for maintaining your new year’s resolutions and achieving a healthier you.
Remember that if you’re planning significant behavior changes for better health, such as quitting smoking or improving your diet, you’re not in this alone. Talk to your doctor about the kinds of support that can help you change your behavior and achieve your health goals effectively. You can do this!
1. Make it Fun
If you want to exercise more, plan an activity that you enjoy. If you’re going to stick to your diet, find healthy alternatives that you enjoy eating. In fact, for a helpful dietary resource, I encourage you to go to Eat This, Not That.
2. Develop a Strategy
Before setting goals, develop a strategy. Look at obstacles that hinder you and how you can overcome them. If you want to exercise four days a week, but child care is a barrier, figure out who will watch the kids. According to the American Psychological Association, by making resolutions realistic and incorporating them into everyday life, there’s a greater chance you’ll reach your desired goals.
3. Set Achievable Goals
Don’t set yourself up for failure! Making significant and abrupt changes is extremely difficult. Maybe quitting smoking cold turkey is too big of a step. The American Psychological Association recommends starting small and changing one behavior at a time. For example, if you want to lose ten pounds, make a change to use the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Then switch to water at lunch instead of soda. The minor changes will add up and help you accomplish your bigger goal.
4. Share Your Goals
Don’t keep your new year’s resolutions a secret! Tell your family and friends about your goals. Sharing your goals will help you stay more accountable. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution to motivate each other.
5. Don’t Make Vague Resolutions.
Specify what you want to achieve. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” try “I want to lose 20 pounds in six months.” Make it a point to write your goals down and refer back to them when possible. It always helps me keep my resolve, especially when times get tough.
6. Establish a Reward
If you’ve been diligent, occasionally indulge in a small treat to incentivize yourself to keep going. It could mean going to the movies or having ice cream for dessert. Sometimes a little gift can go a long way towards keeping your goal(s) consistent.
7. Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success to keep you motivated. If you’re planning on losing weight, consider keeping a food journal. I’ve written about many excellent electronic apps that can help you keep track of your exercise and food intake that you can also utilize for free. You can find the article here.
8. Readjust When Necessary
If you get sidetracked or need to change your goals, cross out the old one and put in the new one. Don’t get discouraged — readjust and move on.
9. Don’t Give Up!
Don’t despair if you have run out of steam by mid-February. Start over again! Identify what is NOT working for you, and then recommit yourself. You can do this!
10. Subscribe to Our Newsletter!
Were these tips helpful for you? Is there a tip that worked for you that I forgot to include? Be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul Newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each week. Happy New Year!