How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
Many people are skeptical of making New Year’s resolutions. It’s easy to see why – statistics suggest that the overwhelming majority of people don’t keep their resolutions. As a matter of fact, Forbes once reported
that only 8% of resolutioners turn their goals into long term habits. Yikes!
Are you still on track?
Thankfully, there are ways to make sure that you’re part of that elite 8%. Continue reading to find out how to make those healthy lifestyle goals a reality.
Set specific goals
Goals like “lose weight” and “eat healthy” tend to fail before they even begin. Why? Because they aren’t specific, and goals that aren’t specific are pretty hard to act on.
If your overarching goal is to “get healthy,” break that outcome down into smaller, more actionable steps.
Get crazily specific with your healthy living goals: cut out cookies and fries, lift weights 3 times per week for 30 minutes, attend a yoga class once a week, cook one new vegetable dish each week, and so on.
Once you’ve accomplished these smaller goals, keep going!
Focus on the “why”
It’s so important to understand why
you want to reach a goal. Do you want to be healthier so that you can keep up with your kids or grandkids? Have you always dreamed of running a marathon? Are there certain health problems that run in your family that you’d like to avoid?
Find your motivation, write it down, and use it to keep yourself going when you feel your willpower deteriorating.
Believe that you can achieve your resolutions, but leave room for forgiveness
If you don’t believe that reaching your healthy living goals is possible, well, you won’t find success! Keep yourself going with positive affirmations and some uplifting self love, even if you fall off the wagon. Write yourself notes on your mirror, or sticky notes on your fridge to remind yourself.
Many experts believe that willpower is a finite resource
and that, much like a muscle, it can become fatigued over time. So give it a good workout, make it stronger, and accept that sometimes when your willpower falters, you just need a breather and to try again tomorrow.
Remember that one bad meal or one skipped workout doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Just keep on working at it and continue to focus on your “why.”
You need a plan
The old saying goes that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail, and that’s painfully accurate when it comes to healthy living goals. If you don’t have an action plan, it’s going to be much more difficult to turn your resolution into a lifestyle.
For example, if your plan is to eat healthier, make a meal plan and try prepping your meals
each week. Start by planning out each of your meals for the day, and then make a grocery store trip to pick up the ingredients you’ll need. Then, cook in bulk so that you have leftovers to carry you through the week.
Don’t try to cook everything for the entire week at once, though. That’s a recipe for stress! Start with one or two meals, find a system that works for you, and then ramp up your efforts if the process is helpful. Soups, chili, and stir fries are great for bulk cooking. You can even pre-make your morning oatmeal
Don’t get too ambitious
The new year might seem like the perfect time to start an entire lifestyle overhaul, but it’s important to be realistic. If you’ve never cooked anything other than a grilled cheese, resolving to meal prep all of your meals each week will be difficult. Consider aiming to learn one new, easy dish each week, and go from there.
There’s no need to make resolution-setting too hard! Small changes add up in the long run, after all.