Healthy Living Blog – Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Today is New Year’s Eve and many people are drafting their 2021 New Year’s resolutions. Many people have health-related goals such as eating healthier, exercising more, or practicing better self-care. It’s exciting to begin new habits but these resolutions often fail. How can you make sure your resolutions last after January?
Setting your resolutions
A reason why resolutions may not work is that they are too vague or too broad. They have to be SMART, which is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. SMART has been used in the field of management but it’s also very useful for setting resolutions.
- Specific: Your resolutions have to be very clear. If you are looking to run more, a specific goal would be running two miles within a month.
- Measurable: Measuring a goal helps you see your progress. If you want to run two miles within a month, you can use a fitness app to log the distances you run per week.
- Achievable: Running two miles within a month doesn’t sound like a big goal but it might not be achievable if you try to run two miles in only one day. Start off small: run half a mile by the end of Week 1 and increase by half a mile every week after that.
- Relevant: You have to think about how much this goal matters to you. If you are running more because you don’t like your body, your resolution won’t last long. If you start running because you are serious about turning a new leaf for your health, your resolution can last longer.
- Time-bound: The timeline of your goal has to be realistic. If you find that running two miles within a month is not doable, give yourself more time. Don’t think you’re falling behind on your goal — your resolutions will take time because they should become long-term habits.
More tips to stay on track
- Find a community. You don’t have to do your New Year’s resolutions alone. Join a group with others who are also working towards the same goal. This could be an informal running club or a workout class at the gym.
- Learn from the past. If it’s hard for you to make a change or if you failed at a small goal, think about what worked and what didn’t. It’s okay for you to make even smaller goals that are more manageable.
- Seek help: Working on a resolution can be stressful. Talk to others who are doing well with their resolutions or with people that will support you no matter what. You can also seek advice from a healthcare provider about how to set achievable goals and how you can deal with emotional stress.
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