Make Your Resolutions Stick

February 5th, 2015


Get over the hump and use these 3 easy steps to achieve your goals.

A new year signals hope, opportunity, and for many, the opportunity for significant changes. Some people resolve to lose weight. Others decide it's time to enhance their education. Others vow to quit an addictive habit.

According to an article in Forbes, “more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions", however, even with these good intentions, University of Scranton research shows that "only 8% of people actually achieve their...goals”. Resolutions can create an opportunity for positive change, but the statistics beg the question, why do people have such a hard time sticking to their goals? What turns a resolution into permanent change? Here's a strategy you can apply for greater success in pursuing your goals. We'll use a common New Year's resolution as an example: losing weight.

STEP ONE

Make a Lifestyle Change.

Don't go on a restrictive, unrealistic diet with the goal of losing weight. Rather, make a conscious decision to change your lifestyle.

Unfortunately, many people making this type of resolution do not succeed in losing weight because they lack a real plan and the motivation necessary to achieve long-term results. Changing your mentality from "diet" to "lifestyle change" creates a long-term health focus, rather than a short-term fix.

Diets can make you feel deprived, frustrated about a lack of results, and anxious about returning to normal. Lifestyle changes, on the other hand, create a new normal.

STEP TWO

Get Accountability.

The support and encouragement of friends or family can make or break your weight loss goals. Tell someone about your lifestyle change. Invite a partner to join you. Simply go on record with your family and friends about the changes you are making. It's harder to fall back into old habits when others are cheering you on!

One of the ways Liberty HealthShare is able to offer accountability is through our provisional program. Through it, members who make a commitment to change their lifestyle in order to positively impact their obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, or smoking are coached by our Health & Wellness Director, Sue Rohr, and her team.

Sue regularly keeps in touch in order to plot members' progress and she reports that this accountability works! Friendly guidance and support help provisional members shed excess pounds, lower their blood pressure, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.

STEP THREE

Track Progress.

If you are working to change, take the time to remember where you came from.

Change is difficult. People don't, by nature, slip into a healthy lifestyle, especially when unhealthy choices have become a habit. Change takes daily decisions; an ongoing process of deliberate step after deliberate step. Tracking your progress and reflecting on how far you have come can help.

Choose a way to measure your success, such as your ability to run without stopping or how well you are able to keep up with your kids. Then, keep track of your progress in these areas. You can also keep a weight loss journal or use an app, but keep in mind that weight alone doesn't tell the whole story of your health.

Tracking change gives you small markers along the way to show you what is working and what may need some adjustment so you will be successful.

All in all, New Year’s resolutions can be a great thing, especially if backed up by a plan of action. As a member of Liberty HealthShare, you have already resolved to prioritize your health by taking responsibility for it. Share your membership experience with those you know! You never know, they might decide now is the time for them to join us and take advantage of community and accountability. That's a New Year’s resolution they will never forget!

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