Health + Fitness

How to Make and Keep Your 2017 Resolutions

 

The following is a guest post from Jessica, wellness coordinator at Diplomat.

 

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love visiting with family, attending parties, enjoying food and drinks—everything. But with the holidays comes overindulgence, and the influx of calories can leave you with a lighter wallet and a tighter waistband. Then we make the dreaded New Year’s resolution.

We all want to save more, eat less, and exercise four hours per day. Gyms are packed, and Facebook feeds are flooded with meal-prep pictures. Resolutions can feel more like post-holiday detoxing efforts than productive goals. Each year, we make goals with bright eyes and bushy tails; and often, they fall off our radar.

But according to a University of Scranton study published in 2002 by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who make New Year’s resolutions are more than 10 times likelier to succeed than those who have similar goals but don’t resolve to change.

Here are some tricks to stay on track with your resolutions in 2017.

 

1. Write down your resolutions and frame them.

Make a contract with yourself. Put your goals in print, and keep them visible by finding a nice frame and using it to hang your resolutions in your office or kitchen. The display will serve as a constant reminder to work toward your goals.

 

 

2. Write an action plan.

Unfortunately, more than half of resolutions fail if they’re not attached to a plan of action. You can’t lose 50 pounds in six months on hope alone. Pair your resolutions with action items on how to achieve those goals—the more detail, the better! Having a plan will keep you on track when you’re not sure what to do.

 

 

3. Start small.

Ambitious goals are good, but they can be very overwhelming when getting started. If you want to lose weight, don’t resolve to go the gym for two hours every day for a year. You will burn out quickly and end up hating exercise altogether, leaving you feeling defeated. Instead, tell yourself you’ll go to the gym once or twice per week and sign up for something fun, like a Zumba class. Achieving smaller steps makes it easier to reach a larger goal.

 

 

 

4. Treat your resolutions like a bucket list.

Instead of stating a generic goal like “I am going to be organized this year,” I like to write them as if they’re part of my bucket list:

  • “A bad habit I am going to break is …”
  • “Somewhere cool I want to travel to would be …”
  • “The hobby I want to get into more is …”

That way you’re taking all that positive New Year’s energy and putting it toward things that seem fun and adventurous!

 

 

 

 

5. Keep a log.

Tracking your progress is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself accountable. It can empower and motivate you to achieve those goals. I use a fitness app to track meals, sleep, water intake, and exercise. It allows me to visualize my entire day, giving me constant feedback on where I need to improve. I’m not eating junk after a hard workout, because I can see all my hard work at the end of the day.

 

 

6. Change your behaviors to achieve success. Practice, practice, practice!

Resolutions are usually about changing not-so-great behaviors into better ones. To succeed, you will need to turn your goals into habits. This means continually practicing those good behaviors so you eventually fall into them naturally. Behaviors often become habits in about 66 days, according to a University College London study published in 2009 by the European Journal of Social Psychology. Soon enough, you’ll be hitting the treadmill without even thinking about it.

Remember to start small, write fun goals, put them where you can see them, and practice good behaviors every day. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year! Cheers!

 

 

 

The information herein may not be construed as medical advice. The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. It is best to obtain medical recommendations from your physician.


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