8 Tips to Keeping Your Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
As the year comes to a close, it’s only natural to look back and reflect on the past year. For many of us, that means finding ways to improve ourselves or our lives through New Year’s resolutions. In fact, nearly half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, many of us continue to make the same promises year after year.
If you’re planning on making New Year’s resolutions about improving your health, Cameron Family Medicine has a few ideas and ways to help those new habits stick.
Start With Why
Before you set your New Year’s Resolution, take a moment to uncover the reason why YOU want to make a change. Success is easier when the changes are something you want, not just what others say you should change. For example, if you have weight loss as a goal, it should be because you want to be healthier, not just because you want to fit into a notion of how other people believe you should look.
While you don’t want to limit yourself, you also don’t want to set yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. Setting a goal of running a marathon isn’t practical if you haven’t run in years.
Commit to a plan
Making a general goal such as exercising more may be too vague. Make a plan with clear steps. A great way to do this is with a resolution journal. Knowing that you have a place to chart your success will help you stick to a plan.
Set small goals
Break big resolutions into smaller goals. Start with low-hanging fruit that will give you a few immediate wins. An overall weight-loss goal of 50 pounds can be broken down into two pounds at a time.
Avoid past mistakes
If you set the same resolutions every year, you need to break out of a rut. You don’t have to abandon your goal, because every time you try it helps. But, you should learn from your mistakes. Take a realistic look at why a particular goal didn’t work for you. You can try again, but take a different approach or choose a different goal altogether.
It’s a great idea to have other people support you in your quest for better health. Tell your family and friends about your goals, but also why the change is important to you. You can also turn to digital help. There are countless apps designed to lend support, keep you motivated, track progress and hold you accountable.
Stay positive and reset after setbacks
Remember that lasting change is a process. The unhealthy habits you’re trying to change didn’t suddenly appear, they took a long time to develop. So you shouldn’t expect to easily erase them in a short time. If you expect a few setbacks along the way, you’re less likely to be knocked off course by them. If you have a bad day, or week, take a look back at why you chose this goal, then forgive yourself and start again.
When making New Year’s resolutions, many people get sidelined by the idea of perfection. Small steps forward still count! Getting yourself in the mindset of continuing to move forward, rather than reaching the end goal at a certain time, it will be easier to turn small gains into new habits. So, even if you walked instead of ran, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for at least doing something. A positive outlook, rather than a negative reproach, may be the motivation you need to push yourself tomorrow. And when you do reach the small goals you set, celebrate by indulging in a healthy reward or shouting out to your support network.
Reviewed by: Tom Miller, MD, Cameron Family Medicine
Dr. Miller is a board-certified family medicine specialist who has been treating patients for over 30 years. Cameron Family Medicine is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Cameron Family Medicine at (260) 667-5685.
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