5 Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2020

5 Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions

As we turn the page on the New Year, many of us will be busy making resolutions. And, unfortunately, 80 percent of us will be breaking them by mid-February.

The good news is this: there are a number of simple things you can do to improve your chances of sticking with your resolutions through February and straight on through 2020.

Here’s how:

Be positive
Before you commit to any resolution, make sure you’re choosing it for the right reasons and approaching it with the right attitude.

Many traditional resolutions are about moving away from something—quitting smoking, losing weight, or getting out of debt. That approach casts you in a negative light and, should you not make your goal, can lead you to feeling bad about yourself.

Instead, frame your goals to be about becoming something you want to be—healthier, more physically fit, or more financially stable. With your focus on what you have to gain, you’ll be less likely to be dragged down by what you have to give up.

Be realistic
It’s great to think big, but when it comes to resolutions big can backfire. If you have a habit you want to break—be it smoking or indulging in too many sweets—going cold turkey can lead to frustration or the impulse to give up if and when you slip.

Instead, be realistic about how you can achieve your goal. Instead of resolving to never have after-dinner sweets again, resolve to cut back on one sweet a week for the first month of the New Year. Two sweets the next month, and so on. Your much more likely to achieve success and stick with your resolution if you do it in small steps.

Be specific
While it’s great to say “I want to get in shape,” what does that really mean? Instead of being vague, commit to a specific plan: “I’m going to go to the gym at least 10 times a month.” Then map out how you can do that based on your life and work schedule. With a specific goal and plan it’s easier to stay on top of your resolution and recognize when you’re succeeding or slipping.

Share your goals
While your goals are your own, you shouldn’t keep them to yourself. Let supportive friends and family members know what you’re striving to accomplish. They can provide encouragement, support, and, in some cases, companionship. Being able to share your struggles and successes makes it easier to stay inspired and motivated.

Forgive yourself
It doesn’t’ matter if you’re looking to break a habit or take up a new one, at some point, you’re probably going to slip. The key is not to throw in the towel on the effort. Forgive yourself. Look at what led to you slipping and take steps to avoid ending up in the same place again. But most importantly, keep going.

Kristin Irace, RD, is a registered dietitian at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

 

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