The New Year isn't far off, and if you're already thinking about what you're going to change in 2019, good for you! That's one of our tips on how to make your New Year's Resolutions actually work.
It's a season as sure as spring, summer, fall, and winter. It's resolution season, where all of us think about what we'd like to do better in a new year. Fresh starts are empowering, and there's something about January 1 that makes the year ahead truly feel like a new path. While some people will tell you not to set resolutions, we think they're great, as long as you're setting yourself up to succeed.
1. Plan ahead. If you're already thinking about resolutions, you're on your way! Don't wait until you're planning to start to start planning; start thinking about your goal critically; how will these changes help my health? How will they affect my famility, or improve my day-to-day life? Are these goals going to be too much, or too little? Invest time in evaluating your goals before you invest time achieving them; maybe the best question to ask is where you'll be once you've accomplished them!
2. Start big, think small. Start with a big goal, then break it down into smaller increments. You can lose yourself in the big picture, but if you're thinking things through, you'll never regret focusing on details. If your goal is to lose weight, make a plan for how: how will you change your diet, your meals, and your activity levels? What will a day look like for you once you've made that change? For example, if you losing weight is the goal, how will you change what you eat for each meal, right down to the amount of calories?
For those looking to exercise more, don't just hope it happens. Start working now to rearrange your schedule, research everything from gym memberships to personal trainers, and make sure you let Dr. Bill know you're planning on starting a fitness regimen.
3. Share your goals. Changing your diet and activity level can impact your friends and family, and now is a great time to let them know what you want to accomplish and what it means to you. The people that care about you will be more than happy to help, even if it means being available to watch the kids on occasion, or even join you for a walk around the block a few days a week! Sharing your goals can also help you feel more accountable, especially if those friends ask how your plan is working.
4. Keep After It. One bad day does not mean you've failed! If you miss a day or two at the gym, overindulge a bit, or feel like you're off pace, that's no reason to give up. We are all human, and the only difference between succeeded and failing is having the will to wake up tomorrow and try again.
Remember, it can take 6-8 weeks to develop a new habit or routine, and if you're surrounded by bad influences, that can make things even harder. Try, then try again.
5. Reward yourself. Set timelines to check in on your progress, and if you're on pace, reward yourself. Don't use dessert or food as a treat though; instead, consider going to see a movie with a friend, buying a new book you've been wanting to read, or spending time doing something you rarely can. Good, hard work deserves positive reinforcement, so treat yourself!