All of us want to be a better version of our self, so as the calendar turns over another year, it is the occasion to declare a fresh start. Most of us pick goals that have personal meaning, often connected to how our bodies look and feel. My friends are working out more, de-toxing, exercising, eating organic and losing weight. Health clubs get a surge of new member in January and Weight Watcher’s sessions are full.
So why is it that by spring 90% of New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned? It is human nature to lose our resolve and return to old habits. So how do we convert to that healthy lifestyle and make it stick? Here are a few suggestions:
- Start simple and concrete. Resolutions that are too broad, too big, or too drastic are doomed to fail. Think big, but start small.
- Write down the change you plan to make and post it several places. The act of writing it makes the commitment more engrained. Posting a reminder in several places re-enforces the plan.
You may choose to stop drinking soda or other high calorie drinks. Reminders on the refrigerator or near your bathroom scales can keep it fresh in your mind. Outlook or smart phones can be good to keep you on track. Try emailing yourself daily.
- Give a commitment of 21 days, rather than forever. It takes 21 days to form a habit and the short time frame will help you avoid discouragement.
- Re-evaluate at three weeks. If you could not reach this goal, try to identify the challenges and come up with solutions. Write down your revised strategy to re-new your commitment. If you did succeed, try adding a new habit to change.
- Don’t procrastinate. The next time you start you will wish you had done it sooner. No time like the present. Just do it.
Once you change a small habit you can keep it for a lifetime. Being a better version of ourselves is an accessible goal!