“People typically have well-meaning-and high-aspirations when it comes to setting their New Year’s resolutions,” these experts say. “Actually sticking to those resolutions can be a bit more difficult.”
For extra help achieving your goals, click on How to Stick With New Year’s Resolutions: Stay Focused on Resolutions With These Tips by Quick Easy Guides…and to learn how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions, read on!
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
When it comes to setting goals, it is important to make them as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, Timely) as possible. As Health Coaches at Gordian Health Solutions, we encourage setting a broad goal and then developing realistic action steps that can be used to achieve that goal.
Thinking hard about the reasons that you want to make a resolution can help you overcome your resistance to actually attaining it. Ask yourself: What is really motivating me to set my goal? Write down your motivation and keep it somewhere you’ll see it, so you will constantly be reminded why you made the resolution.
If obstacles are getting in the way of achieving your goal, figure out what support system you can rely on, whether it be family, friends or even websites from which you can gain information. Taking the time to set SMART goals can ensure that your New Year’s resolutions are attainable.
Listed below are nine common healthy resolutions-and helpful, practical ideas to make them “SMARTer”:
New Year’s Resolution #1: “Start Working Out” or “Tone Up.” Make the action step of your resolution more specific, like:
– “I will walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, three to four times a week.”
– “I will wear a pedometer to work, park farther from the door and take the stairs instead of the elevator to get in more steps per day.”
New Year’s Resolution #2: “Lose Weight” or “Lose 30 Pounds.” Make your goal more achievable and timely, like:
– “I will lose 5 pounds by the end of the month.”
Then come up with action steps involving nutritional changes, exercise, etc.
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New Year’s Resolution #3: “Eat Better.” Change your thinking from “I’m going on a diet” to “I’m making lifestyle changes to improve my eating habits.” Consider keeping a food journal to find specific areas you can change.
Specific action steps to take might include:
– “I will limit eating sweets to twice per week.”
– “I will reduce my consumption of fast food from three times per week to once per week.”
– “I will increase my servings of fruits and vegetables to five per day.”
New Year’s New Year’s Resolution #4: “Quit Smoking.” Set a realistic quit date. Make sure you are not setting yourself up for failure by trying to quit during an especially stressful time. If you’re a heavy smoker, talk to your doctor and consider using nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches, gum or medications. Clear your home of all smoking-related paraphernalia (cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, etc.).
Set action steps to reduce your tobacco intake slowly, like:
– “I will cut back by one cigarette per day over the next week.”
Also think about a plan to deal with cravings and challenging situations.
New Year’s Resolution #5: “Reduce Stress.” Identify and write down your stressors. Identify positive steps you can take when feeling stressed and what sources of support you have.
A realistic action step might be something like:
– “During times of stress, I will practice deep breathing techniques, write in a journal or go for a walk to clear my head.”
New Year’s Resolution #6: “Give Up Fast Food.” It is not always possible for some people to give up all fast food, so begin by familiarizing yourself with the healthier options on fast food menus. Try using restaurants’ websites to look up nutrition information, or pick up nutrition pamphlets inside restaurants. Work toward planning ahead and packing nutritious meals to take with you.
Set a specific, achievable action step like:
– “I will eat at fast food restaurants no more than once a week.”
New Year’s Resolution #7: “Stop Drinking Soda.” It may not be realistic to cut out all soda from your diet at once. Think about ways to decrease the amount of soda you are drinking. For example, try mixing diet soda into regular to cut the calories, or try substitutions like flavored water, unsweetened tea or green tea.
An example of a measurable action step to set might be:
– “I will decrease the number of sodas I drink from one per day to two per week.”
New Year’s Resolution #8: “Drink More Water” or “Drink 64 Ounces of Water per Day.” Ask yourself how you can increase your water intake. Set realistic, specific steps you can take, like:
– “I will get a refillable water bottle to carry with me.”
– “I will replace calorie-laden beverages with water or flavored water.”
New Year’s Resolution #9: “Get More Sleep.” Think about ways you can reach this goal. An example of an action step might be:
– “I will go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and avoid caffeine late in the day.”
Set a specific bedtime, and stick to a consistent schedule to get your body adjusted. Families with children can especially benefit from having a consistent routine for getting to bed at the same time each night.
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Do you have any tips on keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? I want to hear from you! Comment below…