12 New Year’s Health Resolutions That You Can Really Accomplish
You know how it goes: Each year, on January 1, you resolve to commit to something. Whether it’s a diet, a new lifestyle, a fitness routine, or quitting something, you set an ambitious goal that will revolutionize your life. And yet, after a few weeks of hard work, you begin to give up. By April, you’ve forgotten the resolution entirely. “Oh well,” you think. “There’s always next year”.
There are a variety of reasons that this situation can happen, but often the cause boils down to one simple thing: You set such a lofty goal, or expected such a dramatic change virtually overnight, that actually following through with the resolution becomes a heavy burden. Discouraged by your lack of progress, or progress that is slower than you envisioned, you end up quitting altogether.
It’s only human nature. We can only accept so much disappointment or (perceived) failure, before we stop striving for a finish line that seems out of reach. You can solve this problem by setting more realistic goals, or even a series of goals instead of just one, so that you don’t become discouraged by a lack of success. Instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds in two months, or exercising three hours per day, try setting these very attainable goals on New Year’s Day.
- Commit to a healthier diet, rather than one of deprivation. Don’t focus on things you can’t have, but on eating more fresh fruits and veggies, for example.
- Resolve to rely less on drive-through or take-out meals. Decide upon a reasonable allowance, such as once or twice per month.
- Set a realistic weight loss goal, such as 5 pounds per month. Talk to your doctor about what is reasonable for your body type and health status.
- Switch to healthier snacks. Decide to eat fruit once per day during snack time, or to stock your fridge each Sunday with appropriately portioned, ready-to-eat snacks.
- Make changes that allow for more exercise in your day, without feeling like an enormous burden, such as walking or biking to work.
- Decide to hit the gym three times per week, and pencil it into your schedule.
- Set a goal to add half a mile to your walk or run every two weeks (or some other addition that seems attainable in small steps, rather than a lofty goal such as running a marathon by April)
- Resolve to combat stress in small, meaningful ways, such as 20 minutes of meditation or journaling time at the end of each day.
- Commit to a once-per-week yoga class.
- Make the necessary changes that allow you to sleep a full 8 hours each night.
- Promise yourself that you will practice setting boundaries, and you will say no to things that make you uncomfortable or that are unreasonable for your schedule and abilities.
- Purchase a refillable water bottle, and set a goal to drink the appropriate amount of water each day.
These are just some ideas, but hopefully your wheels are now turning as you envision attainable goals for your own life. Remember the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day! Ambition is a terrific thing, but break down your goals into more accessible milestones. I would love to help… Send me a note listing your healthy resolutions and I’ll send you mine. Then we can check in once in a while to keep each other on track.
Happy New Year!