New Year’s Resolutions: How are you doing?

We are now a couple of weeks into 2018; life should be getting back to “normal” after the holiday season. If you set some New Year’s resolutions, there may have already been some setbacks, or some of you may have already given up on those changes you wanted to make. Did you know that over one-half of adults routinely make New Year’s resolutions? Most of which pertain to health behaviors like smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise, or alcohol reduction.

What if you set a resolution and have already not kept it, and it is only early January? Keep going! So what if you missed one or two days. Change takes time. Let’s look at some ways that might help keep the resolutions we have made, or maybe even modify the resolutions.

Things to think about when making resolutions:

Make sure you have the right goal for the right reason: Asking yourself “why do I want to achieve this goal?” “Why do I want to lose weight?” Is it to be at a healthier weight for your body type or is it to be a certain size? This can be helpful for developing motivation to be successful.

Be specific: The goal should be evaluated down to a behavioral level where you can actually take specific steps or actions. Example: I want to put $10 a week into a savings account.  Solutions: I will choose to not have Starbucks two days a week and put that money in a savings account.

Small beginnings: It can be exciting to set New Year’s resolutions. We imagine what it will be like when we are successful (this can be a good mental exercise), but sometimes we set goals a bit too high right away. Say your goal is to exercise 5 days a week and eat healthy, but you haven’t exercised in 10 years and you should have invested in McDonald’s stock years ago. These are huge changes, physically and mentally. Maybe start by exercising three days a week and start making your own healthy lunches a few days a week. These may be more attainable goals. As you make positive changes, evaluate how you feel on the days you make your own lunch or workout. Do you feel better on those days? This can be a great motivator to continue and build on the positive changes.

Oh no, something is sabotaging my plan! Having a plan for obstacles that may arise is giving yourself the power to overcome those obstacles. Maybe prepping your lunch meals on the weekend, instead of doing it the night before, will keep you from investing in McDonald’s again.

I have not been one to set New Year’s resolutions, but I do set personal goals when there is something I want to change or modify in my life. This year I decided I was going to set some goals, but I didn’t want to be overwhelmed at the beginning of the year. I decided to set one goal each month. It actually has a name: New Moon Resolutions. Each month I am setting a health goal for myself. January my goal is to drink two cups of green tea a day. Check out my post about teas and the benefits. Did you know it takes at least 21 days to build a habit and 66 days to “set” the habit? These monthly goals are attainable. I will have one month to develop the habit, then the next month I can begin a new habit while still continuing on the previous month’s goal. By the end of the year, I hope to have developed 12 healthy habits.

Another type of resolution is to choose one word for the year. This can be very motivating for people. My word for 2018 is empower; one definition of empower is to invest. My goal is to help others and myself empower (invest) in building healthier lifestyles so we all can fulfill our purpose in life. Yes, we all have a purpose!!!

I believe everyone should set measurable goals, but it doesn’t need to be a New Year’s resolution. Go with what works for you, make it measurable, and don’t give up on yourself even if some obstacles get in the way. Change takes time and effort, invest in yourself, you are worth it. Remember to celebrate your successes along the way too!

Did you make any resolutions this year? Do you have a word for the year? I would love to hear about yours. Leave your comments below.

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