A little late, but Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fun a safe holiday season! Much like years that have passed, I’m sure you’ve come up with at least one resolution for 2018. And much like years that have passed, that resolution tends to only stick around for a couple of weeks or if you’re lucky, a couple of months, and then disappears completely.
The million dollar question is: how do you turn these resolutions into lasting an entire year…or longer?
I’ve failed at my resolutions each year I’ve made them. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even create them anymore. Instead, I make small goals for myself and once I achieve them, I strive for something bigger. This brings me to my first tip for sticking to a New Year’s resolution.
1. Start Small.
Nothing is more intimidating than setting such a large and broad resolution for yourself and all the pressure that comes with trying to achieve it flawlessly. You can’t just have a resolution of “I want to be healthy”. Sure, that’s a great goal to have but there’s so many components that go into that. Simply, it’s too broad. And also, like I’ve said before, being healthy is a lifestyle and should be something that is fluid for the rest of your life. Going in at 110% all at once sets yourself up for failure shortly down the road. Let’s say you currently don’t have the best nutrition, hardly ever exercise, and have a horrible sleep schedule. You make the resolution to be healthy and go to the gym 5-6 times a week and totally cut out any and all unhealthy foods, it won’t last long. I’m not saying this to discourage you. I’m saying this because it’s realistic. Your body won’t be ready for this drastic change and you’ll feel discouraged and give up or begin to swerve off this path you’ve set for yourself and get back into your unhealthy routine. The best thing to do is start small and work your way up to where you want to be.
Start with a small goal that will contribute to the larger goal you have for yourself. Is your resolution to eat better? Start with drinking an extra glass of water with each meal. Do this throughout the week and increase the amount of water intake each week that follows. You won’t want to snack as much throughout the day when you’re consuming enough water. A lot of the time we think our bodies are hungry when actually they’re dehydrated and need water. Water is also great for bloating and flushing toxins out of your system. Do you see what I mean? This is such a simple and easy goal to obtain!
Do you want to get healthy in 2018? Start with a goal of going to bed 30 minutes to an hour early each night. Or try to wake up early to make time for your workout. You can also try to meal prep for one week and see how you stick to it. Achieve these small goals, master them, and then move on to bigger goals.
This doesn’t just apply to fitness-related resolutions. If you want to watch less TV in 2018, start off by reading a magazine instead. Find another hobby to do and try doing it for at least 30 minutes a day in place of watching TV.
2. Make it a Habit.
Research has shown that forming a habit can take at least 20-30 days. This is not necessarily a concrete number to live by as we are all different and have different strengths and weaknesses. This should, however, be a framework for how long you need to do something consistently for it to become a good habit. For some, it may take longer and for others a little shorter. Try to do what you’re trying to accomplish each day for at least a month and see how you’ve done. It may be waking up in the morning to exercise. Wake up each day for a month and this may already become routine for you. It will get easier and easier each day and start to feel more automatic after time.
3. Don’t self-hate or self-doubt.
Doubting yourself or being hard on yourself if or when you make a mistake will just bring yourself down. You’ll only hurt yourself by squashing your motivation. It’s okay to make a mistake or two, we’re all human – it happens! Instead, move on from it and keep working towards your goal. I know I have eaten one too many cookies in a day. I used to get discouraged and thought this would totally hinder any progress I could make. I realized that this isn’t a healthy way to react to slipping a little bit. Move on from it and keep going!
4. Share your progress.
Share your progress with your family, friends, or coworkers. Anyone who loves and supports you will support you in your new goals and resolutions. They will want to help you reach your goals and even motivate you to do so. And if you have friends that aren’t supportive in your goals or stray you from where you want to be, you need to let go of them. Let go of any negativity in your life and block it out. This will only hinder your progress and you won’t ever be able to get to where you want to be.
For fitness-related resolutions, document your progress. Take progress pictures. Continuously weighing yourself isn’t the best way to measure your progress. Muscle weighs more than fat so the scale might not say what you are expecting it to. Take pictures throughout your journey to getting fit. Compare pictures over the course of months and see what has changed. Actually seeing the results will motivate you to work even harder!
I hope these tips will help you conquer your 2018 resolutions!