As the first few months of the New Year slip away, do you find your resolutions slipping away as well? Resolutions should be reasonably attainable so that you are setting yourself up for success rather than disappointment. Try focusing on small intermediate goals that will ultimately lead you to your primary goal. Do not expect to be perfect. Aim for a healthy lifestyle that you will feel comfortable sticking with.
1. TAKE SMALL STEPS:
Simply establishing the goal of leading a healthy lifestyle should make you feel good about yourself. To make that goal more attainable, come up with small goals you know you can meet each day to help keep yourself feeling positive. Accomplishing the smaller goals will leave you with a more immediate feeling of success. If your goals are too large, you may get caught up in them and feel disappointed when you do not see immediate results.
2. CHANGE FOR YOURSELF:
Any goals that you set should come from a sincere desire to change for yourself. Research has shown that negative feelings are a frequent cause of relapse in behavior-change programs, and resolutions that feel like punishment can cause negative feelings. All resolutions should be perceived as positive changes that will help you reach optimal health and well-being. Do not decide to change to please anyone other than yourself. Stick to your resolution by considering it a promise to yourself, not a test of your willpower.
3. BE CREATIVE:
Perhaps you can find ways to exercise while also accomplishing other goals. If weather permits, try walking to do errands that are in close proximity to your home or office. Maybe you need to spend more time with your family. Try walking with a family member or bringing your children along on bikes while you walk or jog.
4. BE REALISTIC:
Be sure that your plan of action is realistic. Plan to work out at times when it is convenient for you. If you are not a morning person, do not plan to work out early in the morning or you will just be setting yourself up for failure. Try to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Set your goals at reasonable heights so that you can reach them one by one without feeling overwhelmed. The only way your goal is going to become reality is if you believe in it and, most of all, if you believe in yourself.
5. BE POSITIVE:
If things like weather and illness will prevent you from sticking to your plan, make alternate plans for situations that you cannot avoid. Most importantly, do not let a missed day or two throw you completely off target. Instead, do your best to get back on track as quickly as possible, which should not be extremely difficult if you have set appropriate goals. It is easier to stick to your plan when you feel good about yourself. Try to find a new and healthy way to reward yourself when you meet your smaller goals.
6. BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM:
Get the support of your family, friends and co-workers. Let them know your goals and ask for their respect and support with your decision to live a healthier lifestyle. Remember that you are your best supporter. Focus on positive self-talk. Congratulate yourself every time you take a step towards your goal. Be your own best cheerleader.
7. USE COMMON SENSE:
Avoid situations that put you in temptation’s path, in other words…if you’re on a diet, don’t go to the ice cream parlor. Keep your gym bag packed and in the car so you don’t have to run home and get it. You will be more likely to want to stay home once you get there.