Every year, thousands of Americans and even more across the globe decide what their New Year’s resolution will be. However, it’s often expected that those partaking in the movement won’t be able to maintain all, or even one, of their resolutions! Whether it’s to lose weight, quit smoking, lessen your stress, or sleep more, a sudden change beginning on January 1st can be hard to stick to. If you’re really set on achieving your goals, follow this advice from health experts:
- Set your priorities straight – Typically people want to achieve a few goals during the year. Try to rank them from most important to least important. If you feel you’ve taken on more than you can handle, let the least important goal go first. List them out on paper and keep them somewhere visible, so you have a daily reminder of what’s important to you.
- Take small steps – Stopping something “cold turkey” or starting a new habit doesn’t happen overnight. Take on these changes in increments. When quitting smoking, at first try reducing it from a pack a day to a half a pack. Once that becomes easier, decrease your consumption further. If you want to begin exercising more, start out with just a couple of days a week. Look at your most available times and schedule them before your week begins. Once you get into a groove of hitting the gym, try three and then four days a week.
- Make it a joint effort – By having someone to hold you accountable, you’re more likely to be motivated. Recruit a workout buddy, or encourage your kids to start eating healthier, too. Get your coworkers to take a walk with you during lunch, or ask your spouse to go to bed earlier as well! People are more likely to accomplish things as a team, and it’s likely that they would all like to live a healthier life, too.
- Track your progress every day – While the results may not start showing immediately, keeping a daily log of what you did to meet your resolution and how it made you feel can motivate you to do it again the next day! Try writing about how you felt mentally, physically, and emotionally. Explain what worked for you and what didn’t. Finally, write what you could improve on the next day.
- Find what’s fun for you – If you dread exercising, find an activity that’s more enjoyable than what you’re currently doing. Try a dance exercise class or take a hike. If you’re trying to eat healthier, offering yourself a reward at the end of the week can give you an extra push! Instead of making your resolutions a burden, make them exciting!
Change can be difficult, but when you discover what’s important to you and take those steps to make it happen, there’ll soon be a new you for the New Year.