With a new year ahead, many of us may have some goals we want to achieve, habits we’d like to change, and improvements we’d like to make – especially when it comes to our health and well-being. While we may have good intentions to successfully act on our New Year’s Resolutions, history shows us the vast majority of these promises begin to dwindle early on.
That said, there might be some easier ways to keep your promises to yourself. Creating a long-term action plan is the key. Rather than fad diets, expensive exercise classes, or complicated meal plans, try to set small and consistent goals that work with your lifestyle.
To successfully incorporate new resolutions, scheduling them into your life is really important. For example, organize some healthy meals for the week ahead, set calendar reminders for your daily lunchtime walk, make a plan to hit the pillow at the same time each night.
Goals that are vague, such as to eat less packaged foods or to be more active, are virtually impossible to maintain. Instead write down specific goals that make it easier to track your progress and to continue doing such as being active for 90 minutes every week, having fresh vegetables on your plate each night for dinner, getting 7 hours sleep every night, drinking at least 4 glasses of water each day, or stopping smoking entirely.
Making promises to ourselves are easier to keep if we do them incrementally – rather than via a complete overhaul. Instead of signing up for a gym membership in January, start small with video exercises in your living room – if all goes well, then consider moving over to the gym. In place of drastically changing your diet, change one thing, like cutting out sugary beverages, or eating a vegetarian meal one more day a week.
Sharing your resolutions with friends, family, or a support group will make it easier to stay on track. Journaling and keeping track of your goals can help you stay positive, and talking to others about your plans holds you accountable.
This year, plan for success in your resolution quest to get healthier. Small steps, reasonable and specific goals, and share them with friends and family.
By starting with these small changes, you can make 2020 your healthiest year yet.
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