As we approach the end of each year, most of us start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. You know, new year, new me! We pledge to lose bad habits, eat better, exercise, and sleep more so that we can become the best versions of ourselves.
Despite our best efforts to usher in a new era of health, fitness, and overall well-being, we know that many of our resolutions – the ones that we so eagerly start out with – tend to putter out mere weeks later. Research shows that approximately 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions have dropped them by mid-February.
I’m here to tell you…you can do this. Here are some of my best tips & tricks to keep you on track and motivated well into 2022 and beyond:
Be realistic. The fastest way to fail is setting an unattainable goal. For instance, resolving to never have your favorite food or dessert again is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, aim for a goal that is achievable like only having it on a special occasion.
Plan ahead. Don’t wait until January 1st to decide your goals for the coming year. Set them in advance. Putting some thought into what you want will get you excited to get started.
Write them down. When you write down your goals and visualize them, it helps to keep you motivated. Be as specific as possible. For example, if you say get healthy that could mean a lot of different things. If you say lose 5% body weight or work up to walking 5 miles, these are more specific and measurable.
Share your goals. By telling friends and family about your resolutions, they can help support you as you move toward your goals and improve your health.
Track your progress. We all know short-term goals are usually easier to achieve. Small goals add up, which is why I encourage something called “habit-stacking.” Basically, start with one goal and when it becomes a habit add in the next. This makes the goal feel like your routine, preventing you from feeling overwhelmed by taking on all your goals at once.
Be persistent. We don’t develop new habits overnight. Changing ingrained habits is no easy task. Research shows that it takes about 3 weeks to develop a new habit and about 6 months for it to become part of your everyday routine.
Don’t give up. Unfortunately, we often have this “all or nothing” mentality, which often leads to failure. If you get off track with your resolutions, then regroup – don’t give up. Look at the goals you have written down and how far you’ve come, then begin again!
Resolutions are a great way to start the year with a renewed purpose and enthusiasm by taking a more active approach to your health and fitness or personal development. I hope these 7 tips help you to follow through with your resolutions and make 2022 your best year yet.
Meghan Punda, CRNP is a Nurse Practitioner and Functional Nutritionist with a focus on women’s health. She works with women on lifestyle and dietary issues. Meghan is passionate about educating her clients so they can reach their full wellness potential.
How to Create New Habits that Actually Stick, by Jeff Haden. January 3, 2020, Inc.com.
How to Build New Habits by Taking Advantage of Old Ones, by James Clear, jamesclear.com.