As we look back on the past year and look forward towards the new year, it’s human nature to make resolutions to improve some area of your life. And oftentimes, those improvements are health related. People typically focus on their resolutions for a couple months, then excuses are made, and those resolutions are soon forgotten. In fact, studies show that 92 percent of people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolution(s).
Knowing most resolutions are health related, our medical professionals got together and came up with 5 steps to having the healthiest 2021 possible. And, let’s face it, after the year we’ve had, all of us could likely stand to make some health-related changes for the new year.
Before we get started, let’s talk about why resolutions typically don’t last. A simple look at the definition of the word, as defined by Webster, is your first hint:
Resolution: Firm decision to do or not to do something.
The key word is “decision.”
Instead, let’s look at the definition of the word commitment:
Commitment: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity.
The main reason people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they’re not committed to whatever change they were “resolving” to make. They’ve made a “decision” instead of a commitment. Commitments require dedication and instead focus on a process to achieve a goal. So, instead of New Year’s resolutions, we’re asking you to make a shift in your mindset and think of them as New Year’s commitments.
Now to our 5 steps:
1) Don’t try to change everything at once. Weight loss. Improving your sex life. Taking better care of your skin. Getting back to playing a sport you once loved. It’s overwhelming and unrealistic. Prioritize instead on what you’re most committed to changing. Once you’ve done that, make a plan for how you’re going to achieve your commitment.
2) Focus on long term, realistic lifestyle changes rather than unrealistic short term changes that aren’t sustainable. These changes should be small and easy enough to incorporate into everyday life.
Diets are a perfect example. Many people are able to lose weight in the short term but developing habits to sustain the weight loss is where people struggle. This is why our programs focus on weight management instead of weight loss.
Weight loss = short term
Weight management = long term
3) Celebrate your small victories. Change doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s the small victories that add up to achieving big things. Be sure and give yourself credit for those. Even create a reward system for yourself if necessary.
4) If you slip up, forgive yourself and then get back on track quickly. Remember that we’re talking about a commitment that requires changing behaviors you may have had for decades. The quicker you’re back on track, the easier it is to continue with your plan.
5) Schedule your new habits into your new life. Daily reminders can help you stay on track. Maybe its waking up earlier to work out, packing a healthy lunch, enrolling in a weekly workout class, counting calories, etc. Using your phone is usually the easiest way to do this. There are even apps you can use, depending on your commitment.
Once you’ve followed these 5 steps and achieved your desired goal, you can repeat this process for the other areas of improvement you identified in step 1. Step-by-step, day-by-day, you will achieve your commitments and forgot about your yearly New Year’s resolutions.
Did this article help? Our medical professionals are always just a phone call away and here to help you with whatever health related commitment you’re ready to make. Want more health related advice? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to receive our monthly emails.