Is there a magic formula to setting and then sticking to a New Year's Resolution? Do you have to have super human willpower? Is there any hope for us mere mortals? The short answers are no, no, and yes! The new year can be a great time to make changes and set out to improve whatever aspects of your life YOU believe need improvement. Plus, there are ways to increase your odds of success.
- YOU decide what changes are desired and or necessary. You know what is best for your health and well being.
- Recognize that developing new habits or breaking old ones takes time - six weeks of consistently adding or subtracting a behavior is thought to be the minimum time required (this gets you to mid-February, by the way).
- Pick ONE! Christmas, not New Year's, is the time for making lists. Focus on one change at a time.
- Set small, reachable, and measurable goals that get you to a bigger one. Don't measure in leagues; measure in steps.
- Enlist support. Whether it's a health coach, a family member or friend, or an app on your computer or phone, make sure you are getting positive reinforcement along with your progress and a checkpoint for when you may be falling off.
- Keep at it! If you fail for a day or even a week, there is no reason to throw in the towel. Go back and think about why you decided to make the change in the first place. What was your inspiration? Rediscover it. Set a new baseline and start again.
Very few of us are 100% satisfied with all aspects of our lives. If you make the decision to commit to a change, remember it is a promise you are making to yourself to make your future better. This is for you!