Welcome 2016! It is a new year and the world is filled to the brim with feelings of renewal! What better time for a fresh start? Like most of us you are probably looking to change a few bad habits and add a healthy routine to your life, but sticking to a New Year’s resolution is not always easy. Here we offer a few tips to help you stay on track.
- Write down your goals- A lot of people verbalize their goals, but never take the time to write them down. Writing down a goal helps to clarify it in our minds. Once we see it in writing it is no longer just a vague thought. When writing your goal try to be as specific as possible. Decide on the goal and give yourself a time frame. Instead of writing, “I will workout more”, try writing, “I will walk one mile on the treadmill after work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next 2 weeks”. Being as specific as possible and providing yourself with a deadline will help you to more fully commit to your goal.
- Track your success- Using a log to track your success is a great way to visualize your progress. If your goal is going well, then tracking your progress will help keep you moving in the right direction. If your goal is not going well, then tracking your progress will help you to pinpoint your weak spots and reassess your game plan. For example, if your goal is to eat a salad at lunch every day for six weeks, then simply mark an “X” on the calendar for each day that you meet your goal. If you fail to meet your goal every Saturday for the first three weeks, then you will see the pattern develop and be able to adjust accordingly.
- Be reasonable- We would all love to develop perfect habits over night, but the likelihood of doing so is relatively slim. Bad habits often develop slowly over time and for many of us they can only be remedied the same way. Therefore, it is important to be reasonable. If you are a self-proclaimed couch potato who has dodged all form of physical activity for the last ten years, then it is probably not a good idea to jump start your new lifestyle by signing up for a marathon. Perhaps a few easy laps around the nearby track on Sunday mornings would be a better way to go. Making your goals too difficult to reach can be discouraging. Creating small goals that can actually be met is a sure fire way to help you move forward towards bigger and better things!
Good luck and happy new year!