Resolutions You Can Keep
A new year always brings new beginnings and is the perfect opportunity for a clean slate. Many take part in the societal tradition of setting resolutions or goals they hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. The idea is to choose goals that motivate a lifestyle change. However, most people don’t stick to their resolutions past the first couple of weeks. This is because the goals that are set typically are not specific or reasonable.
Setting Your Goals
Sometimes choosing your new year’s resolution is the hardest part. Here are some goals to consider incorporating into the upcoming year:
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Setting a goal to eat healthier in the new year is common but often not reasonable. You may attend a wedding and choose to eat dessert, and that is okay! Instead, choose a more specific goal that you will incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Perhaps this means eating a salad twice a week or making smoothies for breakfast. Including whole foods in your diet will improve your overall health.
Eliminate Sugary Drinks
If you are a fan of sports drinks, soda, or juice, a good resolution for you may be to reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. Drinks that have a high sugar content are not only bad for your health, but they also increase your risk of cavities. Stopping this habit cold turkey may be challenging, so try gradually reducing your consumption of them over time.
Find an Exercise You Enjoy
Everyone is different, and that includes the way they prefer to exercise. While some may enjoy running, others may choose strength training. Try different exercises until you find one that you enjoy. Yoga, dance, pilates, or walking around the block are all extremely beneficial for both your body and mind.
Sticking to Your Goals
If you struggle with sticking to your new year’s resolutions, here are some tips to try:
Create SMART Goals
Goals that are too broad are more likely to be broken. When choosing your resolutions for the new year, make them “smart.” Smart goals are:
One of the most common resolutions that are set each year is “losing weight.” Instead, try to set this goal using the SMART model. Suddenly your resolution is, “I want to lose 5 pounds each month by going on a walk 3 times per week.” This newly structured resolution is specific and measurable, has a designated time frame, and creates an actionable plan for you to follow.
Limit Your Resolutions
It is easy to get carried away when setting new year’s resolutions. There are various habits to incorporate into your daily routine that may promote a healthier lifestyle or encourage self-growth. However, if you choose too many goals, you will be more likely to get overwhelmed and push your resolutions to the side. Plus, changing behavioral patterns takes time.
By limiting your resolutions, you are setting yourself up for long-term success. Choose only one or two resolutions for the entire year. Then, only focus on one at a time. Separating your goals will make them feel more manageable and achievable.
Plan Ahead of Time
Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to plan your resolutions! Start now by thinking of actions you want to implement next year and write them down. Revisit your list and choose the ones that feel the most attainable with your current lifestyle. Once you choose your resolutions, more planning is involved.
Write down a detailed plan of how you intend to achieve your goals. What behavioral changes will take place in order for you to stick to your resolution? Using the example of losing weight, that individual established a plan to walk 3 times a week. Detail how far you plan to walk and on what days you will exercise to hold yourself accountable. You may also choose to try and cook 3 nights a week. Again, detail your plan to ensure it stays relevant.
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