While many people use the New Year as an opportunity to improve their health, the majority of people fall off the wagon within the first couple weeks of January. This is often because people make unrealistic goals, and expect to make huge behavioural changes right away. When we can’t maintain these changes, we fall right back into our regular unhealthy patterns. So how do we make resolutions that stick? Check out these tips to help make 2012 your best year yet!
1. Set Realistic Goals. First set a resolution that is attainable over a longer period of time. Losing 10 lbs over 3 months is what we would call a long-term goal. Then break down that plan to have smaller weekly goals. For example losing 1-2 pounds a week would be a good short-term goal.
2. Create an action plan. Put into writing how you are going to achieve these goals. Consider what day-to-day changes you will focus on, how you will avoid pitfalls, and who to go to if you need assistance with your resolution.
3. Make your health a priority. The most difficult part of keeping a resolution is figuring out how to work it into an already hectic life. Plan ahead so that your first concern is your resolution, and then work life around it. For example, decide how you are going to fit in exercise this week. Write it down on a calendar and think of it as an appointment you cannot miss. Then schedule the rest of your life around it.
4. Share your goals. Studies show that those who discuss resolutions with their friends or family are more successful in achieving their goals. Sharing goals gives one accountability and a supportive structure to help keep them on track. Consulting with a knowledgeable health care practitioner will help you keep your resolution and convert it from a 2 week health kick to a lifelong change.