Don’t let the ball drop on your goals — here’s how to make your New Year’s resolution stick!
Check out these tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions. Nearly half of American adults make a New Year’s resolution each year. Unfortunately, by the time summer rolls around, not many resolution-makers are still on track.
Year after year, top resolutions include losing weight, exercising more and quitting smoking. These goals are great because they can help lower your chances for many health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Use these three tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions and create healthy habits that will last until the next ball drops.
Set a Specific, Manageable Goal
Making a generic resolution such as “losing weight” won’t work if you can’t track your progress. On the flip side, setting a goal that is too ambitious may just discourage you in the end. There’s no healthy way to lose 25 pounds within the first month of the year. Instead, come up with a goal that is specific, measurable, and reachable.
If you don’t know what this goal looks like, take set up an appointment with your primary care doctor. He or she will be able to help you set healthy goals and help you track your progress along the way.
Find Your “Why”
Each of us it motivated by something different. While one person may want to quit smoking to be a better example for her kids, the next may want to quit smoking because his parents died of lung cancer. Whatever your motivation is, figure it out, and stick with it.
Rather than thinking about the negatives of your resolution, make an effort to focus on the positives. So, instead of thinking you’re depriving yourself of a piece of cake, remind yourself how energized you feel when you don’t overeat.
Finding ways to stay focused on the big picture is also important. Creating a vision board you see every day or journaling your progress can help.
Take One Step at a Time
Trying to overhaul your life in a couple days is likely to leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, start small and change one behavior at a time.
For example, if you’re trying to clean up your diet, you may want to start first by adding five servings of fresh fruit or vegetables each day. Then, start removing unhealthy foods from your diet one at a time. Perhaps you start with removing soda, and then work your way to cutting out most processed foods over the period of a few months.
If you’re trying to exercise more, start with 30 minutes of moderate exercise a few days a week. Eventually, you’ll want to work your way up to 150 minutes a week. However, you’re more likely to be successful if you pace yourself to get there.
Making lifestyle changes always presents challenges. And while you may not see results as soon as you’d like, you can get there! Finding a support system can help you make it happen. The Mercy Health team is here for you. Share your New Year’s resolution in the comments, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.