Did you know that only about three percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually follow through? Every year, millions of people vow to lose weight, eat healthier, give up caffeine, drink less alcohol, and exercise more often. So, why is it so hard to follow through and make our goals a reality? Here are some ideas on helping you keep your resolutions once the enthusiasm and good intentions of the holidays subsides.
Set Attainable Goals for Weight Loss
If you begin your resolution to lose weight by setting an unrealistic goal, such as, “I am going to lose 30 pounds in the next two weeks,” then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Remember, you have a whole year to reach your objective. Also remember, you didn’t gain those 30 pounds in two weeks, so you’re probably not going to shed them in that short time frame either.
A better strategy for losing weight is setting short-term goals that get you to your ultimate one. For example, decide to add one or two 20-minute walks to your week. Then, as you accomplish that, extend your time on the treadmill, or add another day to your workout routine. Achieving each small goal will encourage and motivate you to keep going because you will be able to see your progress.
Be Realistic and Diligent
Maybe your resolution is to quit smoking or stop drinking. Many people who attempt to go cold turkey on January second are back to their old habits by January thirty-first. If quitting all at once seems overwhelming, then consider slowly cutting back on cigarettes or alcohol in a more manageable way. For instance, limit your drinking to only Saturday night, and limit your drinks to only two. When you feel comfortable with that goal, just like with the exercise plan, eliminate another drink, or cigarette, until you are down to zero.
Motivation and Support
If you have set a major goal for changing your lifestyle, it will take time to get there, and many days could be challenging. When you are lacking motivation or not seeing results as quickly as you would like, seek support from others. You could read diet tips online, learn about healthy eating from a nutritionist, meet with a personal trainer at your local gym – anything you need to do to keep yourself from getting discouraged.
If cutting back on alcohol is your desire, you may even want to check out a DWI website, like that of attorney Kevin W. Devore, for reminders of why you should not drink and drive, and how alcohol could have a seriously negative impact on your life if you do continue to drink in excess. Sometimes reading the statistics and learning about the negative side effects of a detrimental behavior can be a powerful motivation for permanent change.
Whatever your goals this New Year’s, keep a positive perspective. Having a clear goal and a positive attitude will help you achieve all your ambitions.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell has whittled down her New Year resolution list to a manageable, doable few. She hopes that everyone with the will to change, has the power to make it happen this time. Some of the research for this article came from the website of attorney Kevin W. Devore, a legal professional in Minnesota.