At the end of every December I am sure the majority of us have big plans for the new year! The reality is most people don’t keep their resolutions, actually only about 8% succeed. Those aren’t very good odds! So here are a few tips on turning your resolution into your lifestyle and getting a head start on the new you. I have found them really helpful to stick it out and I hope you find them encouraging too!
- Make sure to set goals. Without any kind of official plan you are less likely to take the necessary steps to get where you want to be.
- Keep yourself accountable! Use digital tools to set reminders, find yourself a workout partner or a coach that can cheer you on.
- Stay strong for the first 4 weeks. If you can make it through the first month you are more likely to follow through with a lifestyle change. After that point if you miss a day you are less likely to just throw in the towel. If you have invested time in developing the habit you won’t want it to be wasted effort.
- Allow yourself a cheat day or a day of rest. If you need a day to have an extra treat or a day off from activity it is ok to have a rest day! If you are concerned about breaking your pattern just substitute your regular workout with a brisk walk or choose a healthier option that is still a treat. Then you will be making good daily choices without burning yourself out.
- Set realistic goals. If your goals are overly aggressive they could feel daunting. It takes a ton of will power to follow through and you definitely want to set yourself up for success. Actually the New York Times reported that according to social scientists recent findings “willpower is a real form of mental energy powered by glucose in the blood stream which is used up as you exert self control”. This actually explains why crash dieting and extreme restriction of foods can be counter productive. Obviously it is a great idea to monitor portions, avoid processed foods and added sugar ( there a plenty of healthy sources for glucose) but depravation is not a long term solution.
I hope these tips get you started on the right foot and moving forward to hit those goals. Good luck and happy new year!!
Reference from NY times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/sunday-review/new-years-resolutions-stick-when-willpower-is-reinforced.html