As the holidays approach, you may have already begun to think about your New Year’s Resolution. It’s a time of year that people start to consider ways they can improve their health. The holidays are full of fudge, turkey, and pumpkin pie, and in an attempt to justify our three-month long indulgence, we tell ourselves it will change after January 1st. According to Psychology Today, most resolutions are successful for the first two weeks but get more difficult as the month of February approaches (1). Keep yourself going strong with our “Top 5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution”:
#1 Be Realistic: Don’t Get Caught Up on a Date
Don’t pressure yourself to turn your entire life around starting on January 1st. Instead, consider the small changes you can make today. You don’t have to lose 10 pounds by the end of next week or hit the gym for 3 hours every day. Placing all your hope and energy on one date can lead to binging behaviors that eventually turn into psychological warfare. Consider what you can start doing to improve your health one step at a time.
#2 Set SMART Goals: Don’t Be Ambiguous
It’s difficult to measure success if you aren’t specific about what you want to achieve. Instead of, “I want to exercise more,” take a moment to think about what this really looks like. The best way to do this is by setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive. A SMART goal looks like this: “By the end of this week I will exercise for a total of three hours.” Set aside time to think about your goals and write them down.
#3 Find Accountability: Surround Yourself with a Support Team
Accountability doesn’t mean that you have to host a family intervention every week to review your success, you can find accountability in numerous ways. For example, maybe you tend to slack a little on your home workout, but push yourself harder with an audience. You may do better in a group exercise setting. Thankfully, technology has made it easy to connect to other people. Joining a weight loss support forum is a good way to touch base with other people who are dealing with similar challenges. Whatever you decide to do, be proactive and find the help you need.
#4 Nourish Yourself: Don’t Neglect Your Body
Feeling sluggish a few days into your low-carb diet? Can’t stop noticing a pain in your back after a lengthy gym session? Your body is an amazing, self-preserving machine. Don’t take what it has to say for granted. If you don’t feel just quite right, there may be a reason. Whatever your resolution may be, don’t starve your body of what it needs to succeed and be healthy. Make sure you are eating enough, providing the proper balance of nutrients, and taking note of any physical pain you are experiencing. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.
#5 Make Time for You: Practice Self-Love and Mental Awareness
Above all, don’t forget to love yourself. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes and nobody is perfect. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but at the end of the day everybody is fighting a battle that you can’t see. Take time out of your day to process your feelings and clear your mind. This may mean waking up 5 minutes early to listen to calming music or signing up for that yoga class you have been thinking about. It may even mean that your New Year’s Resolution is to start eating at the table and not in front of the TV, so you can slow down and improve your relationship with food. Remember that at the end of the day, it is important to be happy with the person you see in the mirror.
- Williams, R. Why People Can’t Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions. Psychology Today. Published December 30. 2014. Accessed October 30, 2017.