Ask Nurse Alice: How to Keep Your Healthy New Year Resolutions Going Strong
Its OFFICIAL…. it’s 2017. For millions of Americans the new year is also starting with new year resolutions around health.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, better manage your blood pressure or just eat healthier its difficult for most people to sustain those good intentions throughout the year. In January resolutions are in full effect but over the course of as little as 3-4 months, by April most healthy new year resolutions are long forgotten. Don’t fall into that trap. Here are 5 simple tips to help you keep chugging along just like the little engine that could.
- “Out with the old & in with the new” Say goodbye to the old you and meet the new person you want to be. Take pictures of where you are today and find a picture to visualize who you want to be. Place these reminders in places you frequent, preferably by a mirror so you can see progress and be reminded of your goals.
- “Use the power of words”
How you word your resolutions and saying it aloud sets the tone away from being impossible into one that empowers you to believe “I’m possible.” And don’t be afraid to share your goals with others so they can help keep you be accountable and support you along the journey. Fellas, take it from the ladies who are always great with the girlfriend power.
- “Set the stage”
Just as you prepare to make a meal, you make sure you have all the ingredients, supplies and have preheated the oven – everything is in place. Same with your new year resolutions. Do you have everything in place? Do you have a t-shirt and jogging pants ready to go? Did you place your running shoes by the door? Did you block out time to exercise on your schedule? Do you have healthy snacks or food choices in the refrigerator? (Better yet, did you stop buying the cookies, chips and soda?)
- “Reward yourself for milestones”
Be realistic with layered goals. For example, instead of saying your going to lose 30 lbs this year, try losing 5 lbs every month for the first 6 months of the year and sustain that weight loss the later half of the year. This layers your goal into manageable and achievable bite sizes. This positive reinforcement will also keep you motivated along the way. And if by chance you don’t reach your weight loss goal, you would have still celebrated the weight you did lose along the way. **Disclaimer** celebrate in moderation! No point in totally derailing your new healthy diet with binge eating of your once favorite sweets.
- “Find a reason beyond the obvious”
Tell yourself why these healthy new year resolutions are important to you. Make them meaningful. Although many just want to look better, knowing these changes will lead to a healthier you is even more meaningful. An example of of this would be a father deciding to exercise more and eat healthier in 2014, not only because he wants to lose weight to look better but because he wants to be healthy and here to walk his daughter down the isle when she gets married. Do some soul searching as to why these changes are important to you. Once you find that reason, you will be less likely to give up as easily on your resolutions.