It’s that time of year again! The time where we reflect on the year that is coming to an end and look forward to what is to come in the new year. At this time we are usually mapping out what we want to accomplish in the new year; things such as lose weight, exercise more, eat better, watch less tv, or volunteer more. All of these resolutions/goals are great in theory but how do we really make them work? Too often we find ourselves sliding back into the habits we have worked so hard to break and slipping back into those behaviors that we so desperately wanted to change. Did you know that while 45% of Americans typically make new year's resolutions, only 8% are successful in sticking to and achieving their resolutions?! With such a minimal success rate we wanted to share a few tips with you so that you can beat the statistics and be part of that 8%. See below for three easy steps to not only make new year’s resolutions but to stick with them:
Change of any kind is hard so don’t try to overhaul your entire life and change all of your habits at one time. Start with one or two concrete goals (eating out one less day a week, walking for 10 minutes a day, watch one tv show a night instead of three), once you are successful with those then you can go ahead and add a couple more goals. By changing too much at one time you set yourself up for failure; instead, by making small, realistic goals, you will have a higher chance of truly incorporating your resolutions into your daily life.
Anticipate Problems/Road Blocks
You will run into issues with your resolutions/goals. Instead of being frustrated and giving up when those difficult times happen, look ahead and anticipate what issues you may face with your goals. Things such as food cravings, procrastination, feeling tired or unmotivated are all perfectly natural especially the longer you are working on your goals. A good thing to remember when you are hitting those roadblocks is that anytime you introduce something new to your routine you have to break the old habit before implementing the new,healthier one. The best way to break habits is by “replacing the undesirable habit with another more positive one” This can be difficult to do which leads to our final tip…
Resiliency and patience are key to sticking with your resolutions! Instead of seeing setbacks as a way out, acknowledge the difficulty in what you are doing and then recommit yourself to your goal. Change takes time, patience, consistency, and continually re-committing yourself to your goals. Allow yourself permission to fail, but then when failure happens learn to forgive yourself and get back on track.
One last tip is to always remember that you are creating a lifestyle not a list of do’s and dont’s. Make 2017 your year and best of luck with your goals!