It’s easy to set New Year’s resolutions, but not quite as easy to keep them. Statistics show that by Valentine’s Day, nearly 80% of our resolutions will be tossed aside. But we want to help you work smarter, not harder when it comes to setting goals for the year.
First, let’s review the most common resolutions:
- Improve Health (Typically, this involves eating better and exercising more to lose weight and build muscle. There are tons of ways to achieve this. Be sure to check out the Eat Well and Get Fit sections of our BHealthy Blog.)
- Save money
- Get organized
- Reduce stress
- Spend more time with friends and family
Sound familiar? It’s hard to keep up that enthusiasm as you’re thrust into the new year, but below are three simple steps to help you make those new health goals into year-long habits.
1. Revamp your resolutions
Effective goal setting is an extremely valuable aspect in making your resolutions stick. To do that, make sure they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).
Each resolution should be a specific and attainable goal and the process of achieving that goal should allow you to measure your success and set a deadline.
Don’t: I’m going to lose weight.
Do: I’m going to lose 1-2 pounds per week for the next three months for a weight loss total of 15 pounds.
Don’t: I want to eat healthier.
Do: I will slowly increase my intake of fruits and vegetables over the next two months to 4.5 cups total per day.
Don’t: I’m going to save money by eating out less.
Do: I’m going to meal prep each week so I can take my lunch to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Setting realistic, timely goals makes them seem more manageable and will lead to a higher success rate. Whether you want to log it or write it down, there are all sorts of apps and daily planners that can hep you track your progress.
2. Know your motivation
In order to make your goals into habits, you have to know why you are making this goal. What will you accomplish by attaining your goal? Having a clear reason for setting and achieving your goal will increase the likelihood of reaching your goals.
Take a few moments to imagine what life might be like after you succeed (i.e., what will be easier? What will be harder? Will I feel better? Will I be able to enjoy life more fully?). Keep a reminder of this somewhere you can easily see it to help keep you motivated while on your journey.
3. Start small
Following suit with step one, starting small will keep you from overwhelming yourself by trying to make too many changes all at once.
Start slowly and incorporate your healthy changes slowly. Even if this means scaling back your original goals to make them more sustainable, do it.
Creating new habits is a long process, but it can be made easier by following the steps listed above. Start the new year off by starting small and setting your SMART goals to help you make your new year’s health goals year-long habits.