Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Researchers say 60% of us make New Year’s resolutions but only 8% successfully achieve them. That’s a really low number. New Year’s resolutions typically focus on eating healthier, getting fit, and learning something new. We really want to make changes to our lives and lifestyles. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, these changes don’t last long. If you’re wondering how you can make life long health changes continue to read this post. I’m going to give you 5 simple strategies to help you keep those resolutions.
How to Change Your Behavior and Keep Those Resolutions
1. Be Clear and Realistic
Resolutions must be clear and well-defined. Not vague. Don’t say, “I want to eat better” or “be physically fit.” Be specific. Say, “I will eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day” or “I will exercise for 30 minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” If you know exactly what you want to achieve then you will. Use the SMART approach: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Time-bound.
2. Seek Out Trusted Sources
Searching the internet for nutrition and health advice can cause confusion and frustration. It’s difficult to know which health programs are backed by science, not some fad diet that won’t last. Look for information on healthy behaviors and nutrition from reputable sources such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the USDA Choose My Plate websites. Aim for behavioral changes that take time. Quick, fast results aren’t sustainable and won’t last a lifetime. Remember you’re in it for the long haul.
3. Be Accountable
Write your SMART goals down and share with a friend, family member, or on social media. This will keep you focused and on track. Research shows social support is an important factor in following the resolutions you made.
4. Do What You Enjoy
Choose a resolution that you like. Something you know you will stick with. Not what your friend, sister, spouse, or co-worker wants you to do. If getting fit is one of your resolutions choose an activity you like to do. If you don’t like to run, don’t run. There are so many other activities that you might enjoy such as dancing, swimming, yoga, cycling, and roller skating.
5. Keep It Up. Don’t Stop
A new year is a time to take another step toward positive behavior changes. As you formulate this year’s resolutions, be clear, be SMART, and enjoy each step toward fulfilling those resolutions. Behavior change is more than a once-a-year resolution; it is a lifetime’s journey.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?