Does your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 look similar to your list from 2011? 2010? 2000?! It is natural to set the bar high for self-improvements, however many people struggle to stick with changes because their goals may be very difficult to reach and even more challenging to maintain. Here are some tips for making healthy resolutions that you can keep.
Be specific. Rather than making a broad weight loss goal, resolve to complete the steps that will take you to your desired weight. Instead of “lose 10 pounds,” try “attend my favorite exercise class once per week” (or three times per week if you’re already a weekly regular).
Be flexible. Creating resolutions that reflect a drastic lifestyle change is what causes many people to drop them because they quickly become overwhelming. If you are eating fast food for most meals and rarely exercising, don’t commit to becoming a vegan, yoga instructor by the end of January. Instead, just try cutting out fast food. Or instead of setting a resolution to “make every meal healthy and low fat”, buy a healthy cookbook and resolve to “make a healthy dinner once a week”. Making your resolutions achievable takes the pressure off and leaves you motivated when you’ve easily reached your initial goal.
Have some fun. Many people find they get bored with a new health and fitness routine. Tap into your creative juices to add variety.
- “Try one new fruit or vegetable each month”
- “Try one new exercise DVD each week.” Many are available through online video services and your cable company’s On Demand services.
- “Walk across the country” by tracking your daily miles walked to see when they add up to the miles from New York to San Francisco.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. As you make your list of resolutions, prioritize the goals that are the most important. Tackle these first and let the less important goals wait until your new healthy habits are routine.
Find a buddy or coach. Finding a friend, coworker, or family member to help you keep your resolutions will give you:
- Moral support and encouragement
- Rewards: If you and your coworker go for a lunchtime walk Monday through Thursday, both of you can enjoy a nice lunch on Friday.
Celebrate the new year every month. For many, New Year’s resolutions are focused on decreasing stress and anxiety. Making sure that you feel your best physically and emotionally is the key to being the best spouse, parent, employee, boss, friend and any other hat you wear in your life. Take a piece of the New Year’s festiveness into each month, week and day of the year. Find moments to laugh, spend time with treasured friends and love your family.
Would you like to schedule an appointment with a physician to determine your personal nutrition and exercise requirements? Would you like further tips about preventative health care? Please visit our website or contact our free Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-800-446-6956. Happy New Year!