New Year’s resolutions — they’re easy to make but easier to break. Why is it so hard to make the healthy changes that we know can help us feel better and live longer? And why is it so hard to make them last?
Fortunately for us, experts have answered this annual question: goals don't work unless they're measurable and time-oriented. Making a goal on the fly this weekend will set our resolution up for failure. But don’t worry — by making realistic resolutions, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year!
Follow these tips to make your New Year’s resolutions stick in 2018 and beyond:
- Start Small. Rather than setting unrealistic goals, start with ones you can achieve and build from there. For example, if you want to begin a regular exercise program, don't impose a 'I'm going to the gym five days a week' plan. Instead, make that something to aspire to by the end of the year, with the initial goal being to go to the gym two to three days a week. Even walking for 20 to 30 minutes a few days a week is an excellent start.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up. The best thing you can do for yourself is to accept that you aren’t a machine. Everyone falls off the wagon from time to time. Sometimes you just want that extra slice of pizza. Sometimes you would rather skip the gym and watch four hours straight of your favorite show on Netflix because it’s Saturday and you had a hard week. You’re human, and you’re allowed to have an off day or week. But don’t abandon your goals, and don’t give up!
- Monitor Your Success. When you create specific goals, tracking your progress should be easy. Every time you reach one of your goals — even if it’s just a small one — mark it off on a checklist or calendar. Apps and fitness trackers are also great tools for helping you along the way. Seeing positive results can be a powerful motivator.
- Build a Support System. Teaming up with others who share the same goal provides both support and accountability. Research has shown that people who have support from others are the most successful at diet and exercise programs. Plus, when you make a commitment to improve your lifestyle along with someone else, you're more likely to stick with it.
- Check In with Yourself. Add a reminder to your calendar at three months, six months, and nine months to see how well you’ve stayed the course. It’s never too late for a resolutions reboot. Following up with yourself down the line will either make you feel proud or motivate you to get back on track.
It is our hope that with some of these tips, you’ll look back at the end of 2018 and see just how far you’ve come. If you have more questions about setting healthy goals in the new year, our team at Genesis Medical can assist you. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, find your nearest location and contact us today!