Regain Momentum this Spring and Revamp Your New Year’s Resolution of a Healthier Lifestyle
By the time spring arrives, most people have lost the momentum to stick with their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, be more active, or choose healthier habits. In fact, 80 percent of people who set New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past February. Whether you want to incorporate healthy habits like yoga or meditation, reduce your intake of refined sugar, or start a weekly exercise routine, you can reaffirm your resolution this spring and make it a permanent behavior. Who says January is the only time to make a big change?
If you set goals that are too broad or too big or if you make too many goals at once, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Wanting to lose weight is too broad. Wanting to run a marathon when you’ve lead a sedentary lifestyle for two years is too big of a goal. Hoping to lose weight, run a marathon, learn a new language, and master a new instrument in the same year qualifies as having too many goals. You need a well-defined path to follow that’s feasible and gives you something specific to work towards without overloading your plate.
To reaffirm your goal and set yourself up for success, start by being honest with yourself. Don’t set a goal because you think you’re supposed to or because you want to please someone else. Otherwise, your goal isn’t meaningful or desirable, and your “motivation doesn’t come from within but comes from the outside and that doesn’t tend to lead to success,” warns CBS News. Figure out what changes are important and valuable to you, then set your goals. In order to be successful, you have to want the change for yourself.
Stick to one change at a time. Once you’ve mastered one, move on to the next. It’s easier to take small steps toward your end goal rather than trying to make a complete overhaul all at once. For example, if your ultimate goal is to eat a healthier diet, you may want to try cutting out your nighttime snack your first week; adding a serving of vegetables to dinner your second week; and finally, eliminating junk food from your diet (except for special occasions, of course!).
Making it Permanent
Obviously, no matter which goal you choose, you should follow the advice above; however, specific goals require more specific strategies. For sticking to your goal of eating a well-balanced diet, look at cooking as an opportunity to get creative and try new things. Host a dinner party with your friends to share recipes, or cook a meal that involves your whole family. You’ll eat healthy, learn new recipes, and spend time with loved ones.
If you want to build an exercise regimen, recruit a workout buddy or hire a personal trainer. Not only will someone else be there to cheer you on and motivate you, he or she will also hold you accountable. To achieve the goal of cutting down on alcohol consumption, pace yourself by drinking slowly, consume no more than one drink per hour, and have a nonalcoholic drink (water is best) after each alcoholic beverage. Also, avoid drinking on an empty stomach and try to eat food while you drink, even if it’s just a snack.
Reaping the Benefits
Don’t forget the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of opting for a healthier lifestyle. Exercise is a known stress-reliever and stress-reducer, and it helps improve mood, memory, and learning. Exercise also fights depression and other diseases, including Alzheimer’s. And fitting in your daily dose of activity doesn’t always have to mean taking a trip to the gym — exercise can be as simple as taking your dog for a walk or playing a game of tag with your children. Cooking with your family can set a positive example for your children, leading them to create healthy habits of their own, teaching them to cook, learning basic math and science, and even teaching them responsibility.
Certain people or places can influence you to drink more, and for alcoholics, this trigger effect can push them into an addiction relapse. If you cut back on your own drinking, you may influence someone around you to make the same choice to skip the drink, aiding in his or her addiction recovery. As you can see, choosing to live a healthy lifestyle will bring some obvious rewards, but there are subtle and invaluable benefits as well. Don’t wait until next January to make a change. Regain momentum this spring and revamp your resolution.
Please also review our Healthcare Life Coaching Program