Only eight percent of people of who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick to them, according to researchers from the University of Scranton. That’s because many people who make resolutions tend to set unrealistic goals that leave no room for trial and error. Someone with unrealistic expectations can easily experience setbacks within the first few weeks of the New Year, and revert to their previous unhealthy habits and behaviors until January 1 rolls around again.
However, there are secrets to making New Year’s resolutions last, and that can turn your resolutions into normal everyday habits you end up practicing for the rest of your life!
Ready to finally succeed with your health and wellness goals this year? Here’s how to conquer your goals in 2019.
View each of your resolutions as a “reset”
Resolutions normally come with a firm “do or die” mindset that leaves no room for mistakes. But thinking of each of your resolutions as a reset instead can help you view your goals in a more realistic light and tweak them as needed to fit your lifestyle. A reset helps you commit to making small changes every day that bring you closer to meeting your health goals.
Stop giving up certain foods
Many who resolve to lose weight in the New Year often try giving up certain foods completely. But unfortunately, this particular resolution backfires nearly every time. Cutting out certain foods indefinitely like pasta, cheese, and red meat can be difficult, and may just end up making you feel deprived. Instead of omitting your favorite foods from your diet, set more doable goals such as cutting portion sizes, eating healthier alternatives, or indulging in these foods only once per week.
Omit January 1st from your timeline
Viewing January 1st as your start date can trick your brain into thinking that your resolution must also have an end date by which you can measure whether your resolution was successful. Instead of viewing January 1st as the one and only beginning attached to an expiration date, start viewing every day as a fresh start. For instance, if you took an extra day off from the gym this week, evaluate why you made that choice, and reset your goal with the necessary modifications. Your body may just have needed an extra recovery day, or perhaps it’s time to modify your workout routine so you feel more excited about hitting the gym.
Work gradually toward your resets
Treating your resolution as a reset allows you to advance toward meeting each of your goals at a natural, comfortable pace that works best for you. For example, if your goal is to stop eating any and all fast food, you could decide to gradually start weeding out restaurants that offer the worst nutritional options before cutting out fast food altogether. Several months down the road, you may be visiting only one or two fast food restaurants, which can make it easier for you to finally pull the plug on fast food when the timing is right and you’re ready to move on to the next goal.
Remember that lasting change is the results of small, daily habits that add up over time. That might not be as exciting as looking at the end goal, but by focusing on your daily choices, you can make significant changes to your physical and mental well-being for the upcoming year, and for many more to come.
Need help cleaning up your diet, losing weight, and achieving improved overall health in the New Year? Garcia Weight Loss offers personalized weight-loss programs designed to help you look and feel your best. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on January 1, 2018