It's that time of year again. Everyone knows all about New Year's resolutions. And everyone knows how difficult it is to stick to them. More than half of all New Year's resolutions fail — but yours doesn't have to.
If your goal is to take better care of yourself and live a healthier lifestyle, you'll feel much better and have an even better year if your resolution sticks. We're here to help you set yourself up for success, so you can start the new year on the right foot, and end it with an accomplishment.
1. Pick the Right Resolution
A certain way to fall short of your goal is by making it unattainable. You'll have a better shot at success if you give yourself a goal that's not only realistic, but meaningful, too. Make sure your goal isn't vague, and make sure it's something that you want for yourself — not what someone else or society wants.
Consider setting a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Setting a SMART goal will keep your progress moving forward, help with accountability and timing, and let you know that you're accomplishing what you set out to do.
2. Create a Plan
Unfortunately, your goal won't just happen on its own. You need to plan what to do and prepare for any obstacles that you might run into. And don't wait until the last minute — your goals should be well-thought-out at the beginning of the year, so you can hit the ground running.
If your goal is to exercise more and you're struggling to get off the couch, try calling on a friend for some help and accountability. Or practice some positive thinking and self-talk. Remind yourself of your goal and how these small habit changes build each day, putting you closer to your goal.
You can also reward yourself after you've completed your task to help you stay motivated. A long hot shower, a piece of chocolate, or tracking your workout in a journal and seeing your progress can give you a great sense of pride and push you to keep going.
3. Find a Community
You don't have to go it alone. Share your goal with friends and family — it doesn't have to be a big secret. Tell your loved ones so they can support you. And during this time of year, it'll be easy finding others who are also trying to make life changes.
The best-case scenario is to find an accountability buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution, that way you can inspire and motivate each other. And while some friends and family want to help and see you succeed, others can hold you back.
If your resolution is to cut back on a behavior that others participate in, like smoking, these people might see your desire to change as a rejection of how they live their lives. For those who push back against your decision to change, try creating a script that says what you are trying to accomplish without any shame behind it.
This could be something like saying you really enjoyed your time together outside, but that you have to step away now because it's important to your health and living a healthier lifestyle.
4. Track Your Progress
Nothing is as motivating as seeing your own progress. Getting closer and closer to your goal can help you stay on track and inspire you to push yourself even more. Keep track of each of your small successes and watch them grow. Plus, short-term goals are much easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will only propel you forward.
Instead of trying to hit the gym every single day, focus on 30 minutes of exercise 2–3 times a week. Keep track of your workouts with a journal, fitness tracker, or smartwatch. Once you reach that goal, you'll probably turn it up a notch and try longer workouts, or maybe try working out 4–5 days a week instead.
5. Don't Give Up
If you didn't hit your goal, you didn't fail. Don't beat yourself up about it — life is full of mistakes and errors, but you can keep going and try again. Be kind to yourself and also know that you're not alone. Everyone struggles with New Year's resolutions, but we all have the to power to keep moving forward.
If you've completely run out of steam by February, don’t worry. Your resolution doesn't have to be tied to the new year. You can start over and recommit to your goal tomorrow, Monday, after your birthday — whatever date best suits you as a marker for change. You don’t need to wait a full year to give it another shot.
Or, try recommitting yourself for just 24 hours. You can do anything for a day. The 24-hour increments will build up, and before you know it, you'll be back on track and ready to reach your goal.
The yearly ritual of creating resolutions doesn't have to be a disappointment. Sometimes, the difference between success and failure is simply choosing the right goals and the processes you use to achieve success.
Most importantly, remember to be kind and flexible with yourself and celebrate all of your wins, big or small. It's not just the end goal that matters — it's the beautiful journey you take to get there.
We hope these resolution tips will help you kickstart your new year and allow you to make meaningful, lasting lifestyle changes. At OnSite Wellness, health and wellness is our specialty.
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