Keep Those Resolutions

Oh my! Here it is several months later after making my New Years Resolutions. I have tried to say I wouldn’t make New Years Resolutions but I would make them my New Years Goals. Well, call it what you like, but I will tell you that it isn’t always easy to keep them.

If exercise is one of those resolutions, it is always easier to reach out and find a workout buddy or look for support groups or classes.  Having some support can help to keep you on track while sharing your challenges and successes and makes the world easier.

If you are intent on breaking several not so good habits, don’t try to change them all at once.  It takes time to form those habits and also takes time to replace them with some good ones.  Conquer one habit at a time to make it permanent and easier.

Studies show that by midyear less than half (40%) of people’s New Year’s resolutions have been kept.  It takes the right attitude and approach to improve those things that you have lived with for years.  Just remember that everyone has lapses when trying to change to a healthier habit.  The process doesn’t happen overnight as it didn’t begin overnight either.

Start with forgiving yourself if you drop the ball.  I am notorious for having to start over. We all have triggers that we need to learn to identify.  Perhaps being around certain friends that have a habit that you choose to change.  It’s difficult, but try to avoid those situations.  Learn from your mistakes and move on with a self-reward when your goals are met.  They can be small, but rewarding.  Just go see a movie, or buy something small you’ve been needing or wanting.  When reaching a larger goal, choose something you’ve been wanting for some time.

Do not give up if that habit hasn’t been changed in 3 weeks.  It takes time and it can’t be done that soon.  Creating a habit can take a couple of months or more, so don’t be discouraged.  You will get there, it just takes time for your brain to make a new routine second nature.

Planning work ahead of time is a good goal.  Do this in a positive way and use terms that focus on the behavior you want to build to make it more likely to succeed.  It is easier to build a new habit than to quit a bad one.  Bypassing your bad habit for short amounts time can help to build your confidence so that you can let it go permanently.  Increase the difficulty of your challenge a little more until you reach your goal.

If weight is your goal, try losing just 5 pounds a month for 6 months rather than all at once in a short time.  Otherwise, you will become frustrated and may give up altogether.  Break them down into several smaller, easier ones.

Just remember that keeping track of how you are doing will help you to be more likely to succeed.  Don’t berate yourself for slipping a little.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!

And hey! Tomorrow is another day to try to start over.

Dr Fredda Branyon