It’s happened again. This was the year you were going to focus on your health and well being — but now it’s summer and you’ve definitely let your New Year’s resolution slide. If so, you’re not alone; only about 8 percent of people end up keeping their resolutions. Don’t give up and wait until 2019 to make another resolution. Try one of these five ways to get your resolution back on track and begin living a happier, healthier life today.
#1: Start small. At the beginning of the New Year, you may have set huge (and often times, initially very exciting) goals. However, when reality sets in, discouragement can soon follow. When perking up your New Year’s resolution, don’t try to resurrect the whole thing at once. If you’re trying to live a more active lifestyle, don’t sign up for a decathlon and push yourself to jog three miles on your first day. Instead, join a local gym and dedicate three days each week to exercise. If you want to shed a few pounds, don’t jump on the first diet that comes your way. Balance your daily carbohydrate and sugar intake with leafy greens and protein, select healthy snacks between meals or even talk with your healthcare provider to create a personalized nutrition plan.
#2: Set reasonable, ‘bite sized’ goals. After you’ve committed to your new resolution, pace yourself so you’ll continue to succeed for the rest of the year. Make a list of smaller steps you can take to build up to your resolution, setting bi-weekly or monthly goals so you are always reaching for (and attaining) something new.
#3: Bring someone in the loop. Accountability is key when staying on track. Share your resolution with a trusted family member or friend. If it’s health related, you can also bring your healthcare provider into the loop. Ask what steps you can take to keep your mind and body healthy while chasing your goal.
#4: Don’t be discouraged if you fail. It happens to the best of us. Even after revamping your resolution, you may fall off track again — and that’s okay. Maybe your initial plan and the steps to get there were still a bit aggressive. Maybe you had some significant life changes, like a move, a new job schedule or welcoming a new family member. Think about what really threw you off and try to work through it in a way that allows you to still move forward, without getting stuck on that detail as an excuse to abandon your goal. When you do fall short, accept it, and more importantly, learn from it and start again.
#5: Celebrate the little wins. Every time you reach a milestone, allow yourself a moment of pride. Spend a night out with friends, treat yourself to a special purchase or even just do a little celebratory dance. This will break up the monotony of striving for a huge goal and keep discouragement from taking over again. Whether it takes a few days, a few months or even a few years to complete your resolution, be sure to enjoy the steps along the way.