Posts for tag: resolution
the same old New Year's resolutions. Every year at around this time, millions of people around the world resolve to improve their lives beginning Jan. 1 – and for most, their resolutions die sometime within the first few months, if they get off the ground at all.
What can you do to make 2017 different? What can you do to make sure your New Year's resolutions stick? Here are five ways to keep your 2017 resolutions while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have struck down your resolutions in years past.
1. Think It Through: One of the biggest mistakes resolvers make is jumping into a resolution without thinking it through. Sure, you can resolve to start working out, lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier or be more patient with your kids – but words are just words unless they're supported by sensible actions. And sensible actions require a sensible plan. Resolving to exercise? Think about how many days per week, whether to go to the gym or work out home, potential hurdles / challenges that may come up, and other factors. Resolving to be more patient? Map out a half-dozen specific ways to do it (think before you speak / act; give yourself a "time out" so you can refocus, etc.). Whatever your resolution, you have to figure out how to make it work or it probably won't work, pure and simple.
2. Recruit Help: While everyone has their own New Year's resolutions, that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Your friends, family, co-workers and other acquaintances are your biggest allies, and chances are they've either resolved to do one of the same things you have, or they did it last year. Work out with a friend; brainstorm healthy meals your kids can help prepare; and engage online support groups whenever possible. Tap into their experience, their encouragement and their support to stay focused and strong throughout the year, and your resolution won't be the one-week, one-month or even one-year variety; it will last a lifetime.
3. Remember Last Year: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it, and we're guessing that like most people, last year's New Year's resolutions didn't go so well. In fact, this year's list might be identical to your 2016 list, your 2011 list, and so on. What will make 2017 different? A good start is to learn from your mistakes so you can chart a more effective course. If you've had trouble getting to the gym consistently, despite your best intentions, perhaps this time, you need to refine your schedule, research an at-home program for the days you can't get away, or work out before work instead of after, when you're usually tired. Succeed in 2017 by remembering why your 2016 resolutions didn't pan out.
4. Take Small Steps: In many ways, New Year's resolutions have taken on a black-and-white quality; either you're not resolving to do anything or you're resolving to do big things, instantly. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple, and the overwhelming majority of resolutions involve behaviors / patterns that are difficult to change overnight. The problem with this all-or-nothing mentality, of course, is twofold: It sets us up for failure at the first sign of a challenge ("I resolved to work out three days a week, every w eek, and already I've missed a few days!") and it ignores the small steps that are just as, if not more important in accomplishing the big step. Want to quit smoking after 30 years? You may want to resolve to scale back progressively, rather than quit cold turkey. Want to start exercising (for essentially the first time)? Try 1-2 days a week of brisk walking for a few months, or a few step classes at the gym, and build from there.
5. Dream Big: Despite the fact that generally, resolutions have a greater chance of success if they're accomplished in small, manageable steps, that doesn't mean you need to think small. New Year's resolutions represent the perfect opportunity to reach for a better world, a better life, a better you; so dream big and go for the proverbial gold. After all, if you set your sights too small, you might be more likely to quit (or not even start) because you don't consider it meaningful enough. Craft a sound strategy to achieve something big that will make you proud. Get help when you need it, take it slow, and most of all, don't get frustrated when that little thing called life temporarily gets in the way. Now that's the smart way to make – and keep – your New Year's resolutions.
Yes, it's about that time of year again: time to review your 2015 accomplishments – more specifically, the resolutions you made at the start of the year – and make your 2016 list. How's the year gone for you? Did you take your healthy resolutions to heart ... or are you doomed to repeat them (unsuccessfully) in 2016? Here's a simple game plan for success in the new year: health and wellness resolutions that are manageable, achievable and make you feel great!
- The 30-Minute Rule: No matter the day, no matter the deadlines, find at least 30 minutes (at once or in 10-minute blocks) to be physically active. Whether it's taking an after-dinner stroll, biking to work, walking the dog or playing tag with the kids, find ways to inject motion into your daily life.
- Keep the Couch Clean: Limit your television time (and especially your kids' time) as much as possible. In general, there's a direct correlation between time spent on the couch and two unhealthy habits: moving less and snacking more.
- Ditch Dessert: Change your mindset when it comes to eating dessert every night. You can do it by only treating yourself to dessert a few nights a week or by expanding your definition of dessert to include fruit, yogurt or even a non-sugary snack (crackers and cheese, carrots with spinach dip, etc.).
- It's a Water World: And we don't just mean in the sense of drinking more, which has numerous health and weight-loss benefits. We also mean swimming more (exercise), taking more relaxing baths (stress relief) and when weather permits, enjoying more outdoors time with friends and family.
- Time Outs Aren't Just for Kids: Stress can be a killer, both literally and figuratively. From a resolution perspective, it can waylay even your best efforts, putting you in an irritated, agitated mood in which you'd rather sit on the couch and eat a gallon of ice cream than stick to "the plan." When you're feeling stressed, take a time out; a few deep breaths, a quick walk and a little time to process your thoughts can go a long way.
Make 2016 your best year ever by taking these and other healthy-living tips to heart. Don't think you can do it alone? Then make your resolutions with your partner or a friend and encourage one another to shared success. You'll both be grateful you did.