Good for you! Unfortunately, by February, 80% of those resolutions have been abandoned. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you motivated enough to beat the statistics and keep your resolutions going through the next few months and beyond:
1-Min Tip: Start again. One of the reasons that resolutions fail is that one small misstep has us giving up altogether. Mistakes are bound to happen, but instead of punishing yourself and succumbing to what you think is a failure, start again — as many times as you need to. Slowly, your resolution will become a habit and hiccups will happen less and less.
5-Min Tip: Start small. Another reason that resolutions fail is because we think massive changes need to happen immediately. It’s important to remember that these changes are a product of daily habits — which must be done consistently for change to happen — and the best way to adopt new habits are to make them so small and easy you can’t say no. For example, if you want to start flossing, begin by flossing just one tooth.
15-Min Tip: Set reminders. Reminders are critical parts of forming new habits — they don’t rely on motivation nor do they require you to remember to do your habit — they encode your new habit into something that you already do. You likely already have a bunch of things that you do every day — have a cup of coffee, brush your teeth, take a shower, etc. A lot of these things are already habits related to health, and these actions can act as reminders for new health habits. So, for example, having your cup of coffee can be a reminder to take your vitamins or to meditate for 60 seconds.
30-Min Tip: Prepare for the unpredictable. Your habit or goal is something that you need to stick to consistently, and that’s easy if everything always goes as planned — but reality is that things generally don’t always go as planned and that’s when we come up with excuses. Plan for the unpredictable and stick to the schedule no matter what. This may mean that you’ll need to reduce your expectations a little. For example, if you aren’t able to make your yoga class because of a meeting, commit to taking a stretching break at some point during the day.
This article first appeared in the January 2017 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.