“What exactly are New Years resolutions?”
“It’s a to-do list for the first week of January.”
Every year, we get a little ambitious making our New Years resolutions. And then we seem to fall off the bandwagon after a month, if we even make it that long. Renewed gym memberships and new athletic shoes sit unused as we fall back into old habits and kick ourselves for not staying strong with our resolutions. Check out these quick tips about making New Years resolutions that will really stick!
- Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time defined. Be specific, instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, try “I want to lose 2 pounds by the end of this month.” This type of goal setting is more realistic and will help you stay motivated and monitor your progress. The first step to achieving your goals is creating them!
- Focus on the positive, not the negative. Research shows that phrasing your goals in a negative tone, “I will not”, is less likely to lead to success. This is because you are constantly reminding yourself of the thing you don’t want to do. Saying “I will not eat any more sweets” is flashing a light in your brain that says, “sweets, sweets, SWEETS!” Instead, try a more positive spin on your goals and applaud yourself when you make steps in the right direction, instead of noting all the times you slip-up.
- Start today! If you do slip-up, don’t wait until tomorrow or next week to start again. So what if you ate a bite of chocolate cake, or even a whole slice? This should not be an excuse to go wild as if today is your last day on Earth, it should be a gentle reminder to stay on track with your goals. Tell yourself that it’s okay you enjoyed a treat and the rest of the day will be full of healthy choices. Drop the all-or-nothing mentality and aim for moderation.
- Prioritize and organize. If you notice your list of New Years resolutions tackles every issue in your life, big or small, you’re going to have a hard time making changes. Focus on one habit at a time that you would like to change and organize habits into categories. Say you want to workout more, lose weight, be healthier, and prepare more foods at home- these goals can all fit under the same category of “health”, but each goal requires it’s own diligence to achieve. Find ways to work on one problem at a time, but group your problems so that success with one area can help you succeed in another. If working out in the morning motivates you to eat healthier during the day, start by changing your workout habits, which will naturally lead into your eating habits.
- Go easy on yourself! You’ve made it this far already, you don’t have to do a drastic upheaval of your entire life just because it’s a new year. The people in your life already love you for who you are, so go easy on yourself. Make sure to include “practicing more self-love” as a goal for this upcoming year and you’ll find that the rest of your resolutions are achieved easily.