How to Stick to Your Resolution
Resolutions starting in January are commonplace. Most are health-based, and unfortunately most people are not able to stick with their stated dedication much past the first month of the year. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around starting or stopping a habit for the next 365 days!
One study done by the University of Bristol in 2007 found that 88% fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions. It may feel like you’ve failed even before you start… HOWEVER, there are some sure-fire ways to keep those intentions all year long.
Many people have high hopes and big dreams for the new year. While this positive thinking is admirable, this can lead to unrealistic expectations. Experts recommend setting realistic goals that are easy to incorporate into everyday living.
- Be specific. Pick one area of your life where you would like to see a change. Making only one resolution may sound lackadaisical, but it proves to be more attainable and successful. Then write down several specific ways to get to your end goal.
- Revamp resolutions. Have you set a health goal in previous years and have failed to keep it? When you write down your specific ways to accomplish your intent, try new methods to get there.
For example… say you’ve had a goal of losing weight in years past. Instead of making a strict menu of what you will and won’t eat, commit to eating leafy greens once a day. This allows for some flexibility in your diet AND making sure you get necessary vitamins and minerals.
Don’t want to eat greens every day? Check out this easy way to get them daily.
- Baby steps. Experts agree that taking small steps to a bigger goal will more likely lead to success. Setting monthly, weekly, or even daily goals will payoff in the long run. Small victories lead to permanent triumph.
- Expect the unexpected. Setbacks are inevitable, and great learning experiences. Instead of surrendering to failure, write down what you have learned from the experience. These situations can teach you how to persevere and ultimately change your lifestyle long term.
- Don’t compare. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your success to others, but this leads to discouragement. Instead, understand that your body and your life are unique and different than those of your friends and family.
- Get support. While we don’t want to fall into comparison, it is helpful to have support. Feeling lonely in your health endeavor can set you back, but a friend can be exactly what you need to get through those unexpected times mentioned earlier.
Be open to hearing honest feedback from your support. Encourage them in their goals, and ask for them to encourage you, too.
Old habits are not easily broken, and new habits take time. Be gracious with yourself. However, you can take a simple step today that puts you on the path to a healthier year.