Win the New Year's Resolution Game
It's January! That means it's time for all of those "new year, new you" resolutions. Many people start the new year with a list of goals to improve their health. But for most, these goals don’t last past January 31st. Read on below for proven tips to help you stick with these goals through the whole year.
Make SMART goals
Start by using the SMART process to set your New Year’s Resolutions. This will set you up for success!
S –Specific. Specify the who, what, when, where and why of your goals. For example, don’t just set a goal to eat healthier, choose something specific to focus on. Instead of just saying you are going to eat more fruit, decide to add 1 piece of fruit every day to your breakfast. Narrow and define your goal to make it easier to manage.
M—Measurable. Set a goal that you can easily be measured. For example, if you decide to drink less soda, set a goal with a specific number of sodas you’ll drink per week. Then track this so you can measure your progress.
A—Attainable. It’s important to set goals that are realistic and that you will be able to accomplish. While you may want to lose 50 pounds before spring break, setting a more realistic goal can keep you from becoming discouraged and giving up all together.
R—Relevant. Choose goals that are relevant to where you are at your life in this moment. Your doctor or your family may have suggested goals for you in the past, but choosing a goal that matters most to you will help you stick with it.
T—Time-bound. Set a time limit for your goal, and when you reach that time limit, assess and evaluate your progress towards that goal.
Write it down
Make your goals official by putting them in ink. Then, put this somewhere where you can see it often, like on the refrigerator or at your desk. Having a written reminder of your goals and your plan will help prevent you from slipping back into old habits.
Make it a team effort
Don't keep your resolutions a secret! Think about who can support you in these goals and make sure they know your plan. Bonus points if you pair up with someone who has similar goals. This could be a friend, family member, coworker or even someone in an online support group. Find your accountability buddy, keep each other updated on your progress, share your struggles when they come up (and your successes too!). Having someone to share in the process makes it so much easier!
Remember to focus on progress NOT perfection
The path to any lifestyle change is definitely never a straight shot from A to B. There will always be good days and bad days. Remember that a bad day (or week) does not mean you've failed. When this happens--as it inevitably will--use it as a learning experience. This is the perfect time to lean on those support people. Talk about what went wrong and how you can avoid it in the future, then get back on track. Keeping a realistic mindset when it comes to your goals will help you get through the occasional struggle.
Now that you have read these tips, go out and buy yourself some pretty paper and pens and get to writing down those goals! Happy 2018!