Remember when you said that 2018 was going to be the year when you made healthy lifestyle changes? Well, it’s almost 2019 now and most of us haven’t stuck to our over-ambitious list of New Year’s resolutions.
According to statistics, almost 40 per cent of Americans make vows to change their lives every year in January, only to fall back in the same unhealthy patters by the time February comes.
So how do you set yourself on a path of change and make sure that you stick to it? Here are some fool-proof strategies to make next year’s life-enhancing resolutions a success.
Watch What You Say
Most people know what they want to change in their lives but don’t exactly think about how they plan to do it. For example, if you make a resolution that is as vague as ‘I will lose weight this year’, you probably won’t have much success with your plan.
By simply changing the wording of your resolution to, ‘I will go to the gym every day and try to eat 200 fewer calories’, you are more likely to achieve your goal because you already have a plan of action set in place.
Maybe start with smaller goals like reducing late night snacking or choosing home-cooked meals over fast food and slowly set up to bigger ones like going to the gym or following a weight-loss diet.
Pros and Cons
If you’re really struggling to meet your goal, you might want to make a list of all the pros and cons of the change you want to make in life in order to be more motivated to take action. This strategy can work if you want to lose some weight but can’t commit to exercising regularly.
Make a list of all the pros and cons of going to the gym, and include as many points to support the argument as possible. Some of the biggest advantages of exercising that come to mind are weight-loss, improved self-confidence, a toned figure, less stress and anxiety and better sleep quality.
If there are any factors that are preventing you from reaching your goal, list them out in the cons so that you know what’s stopping you from making progress and what you can do about it.
Give Yourself Rewards
It’s not easy to give up bad habits and replace them with healthy ones. Most people give up on their resolutions within the first 21 days because the urge to relapse can get too powerful at times.
To resist the temptation of returning to old habits, give yourself rewards for every week that you stick to a positive change. Went to the gym consistently for an entire week? Treat yourself to a new pair of gym leggings or a lipstick.
Do it With Friends
There are plenty of studies showing that making a healthy change with a friend or loved one can increase your chances of succeeding.
Nutrition professor and author, Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., says that whenever you make a new resolution, seek out people who have the same objectives as you do, so that you’ve more likely to achieve your goal.
Plan for Recovery
Whenever you start something new, you’re bound to face setbacks in the beginning, but if you’ve already prepared yourself for a slipup and have a plan for quick recovery, you should be able to get back on track in no time. It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.
After all, we are humans and we can easily fall victim to temptations. Don’t let a simple misstep discourage you or throw you off-track. Simply realize that you’ve made a mistake and figure out a plan to avoid it in the future.
If you’ve been doing well on your goal to quit smoking for an entire year but have a temporary lapse of judgment, don’t throw in the towel easily. Even people who succeed in achieving their goals face setbacks, but the biggest difference is that they don’t give up easily.