With less than five days until the new year, it’s time to start thinking about new years resolutions, if you haven’t already. This process can be daunting, however, when your New Year’s Resolution List seems to be longer than your Holiday shopping list. You may be pondering about how you can stick to your resolutions this year, as opposed to years past. In addition to the post-holiday slump, the thought of not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March, or perhaps even late January may increase your anxiety. Remembering that unused gym membership as you’re smoking the cigarette you promised yourself you wouldn’t be smoking a year ago may make the later winter months feel hopeless.
It is vital, however, to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character, or major life, changes. The New Year is time to reflect on your previous year’s behavior and promise to make more positive lifestyle changes in the year to come. “Setting smaller, more realistic and attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, massive, and overwhelming goal on January 1st can help you accomplish whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “It is not the extent of the change that matters, mind you, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and healthy, and work towards it one baby step at a time.”
When you make your New Year’s Resolution more realistic, there is a much greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, thus incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life. Here’s some helpful tips for those of you who struggle with keeping your resolutions:
1. Baby Steps.
Make resolutions that you can envision yourself keeping. For example, if your goal this year is to hit the gym more, try aiming for 2 or 3 days a week at the gym, instead of a full blown 7. If you’re going to try and eat healthier, try substituting your chocolate pudding desert for fruit or yogurt, seeing them as a reward as opposed to a punishment.
2. Ask For Support.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are unable to meet your goals on your own, you may want to consider seeking some professional help. Accepting assistance from those who are about you and will listen will strengthen your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the bond between the mind and body. A professional can offer strategies on how to adjust your goals uniquely so they are attainable to you, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors or thoughts and address some emotional issues.
3. Start By Changing One Behavior At A Time.
Over time, it is natural to develop unnatural or unhealthy behaviors. That being said, it will also take to replace your unhealthy behaviors with healthier ones. Try not to get overwhelmed, because it’s not necessary to reassess everything in your life. Instead, be easier on yourself and try changing one thing at a time.
4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
Remember that perfection is unattainable. Minor missteps when reaching your goal are okay and perfectly normal. Just because you ate a cookie and broke your diet, or had to skip the gym this week because you were too busy, does not mean you failed. Don’t give up. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
5. Talk About It.
It’s important to share your progress and experience with your friends and family. Perhaps you’ll find it beneficial to join a support group to help you reach your goals. Begin attending the workout class they hold at your gym, or get friendly with a group of coworkers who are trying to give up smoking. Having another person to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle much easier, a lot more fun, and much less intimidating.
Here are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions:
Volunteer to help others.
Get a better education.
Get a better job.
Eat healthy food.
Take a trip or vacation.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Drink less alcohol.
Sell/buy a house.
Let us know what your New Year’s Resolution is below in the comments, or on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BendRealEstateExperts