January is usually a popular time for people to set new goals for themselves, often concerning their health or lifestyle. New Year’s resolutions can range from plans to denounce bad habits to achieving new physical health and fitness goals, and even improving the way to work or interact with others around us.
Even if you haven’t made any decisions to take up new habits or challenges, or made any health related resolutions for the new year, there are some very simple steps you can take throughout the upcoming months to get your healthy year off to a great start. Here, we have compiled for you some tips for making or sticking to a healthy resolution for the new year.
- Be realistic. One of the top reasons why we end up not sticking to our resolutions is because we set goals that are too unattainable. At the start of the new year, optimism might be high and it’s tempting to think that running five miles a day every day will be a piece of cake. However, when life becomes more and more busy and we start to slip on the unattainable goal, it’s possible to become discouraged and just give the whole thing up. Instead of setting yourself up for that kind of disappointment, aim for a goal that is more realistic, and you’ll be much more likely to keep at it and eventually surpass it, giving you a chance to increase your aim even higher and eventually by the end of the year you may very well be doing much more than you thought possible. Incremental change is usually much easier to adapt to, than forcing yourself to undergo a total life change overnight.
- Be consistent. It’s normal to want to give ourselves a pass on the next workout, just because we missed yesterday’s workout. That natural tendency to be defeatist about a new and maybe uncomfortable healthy habit can get in the way of making a real positive change in our lives, and the best defense against it is consistency. Even if you miss one workout, go to the next one, because the clock resets every day and it’s a chance to be a healthier version of yourself.
- Be open-minded. There’s more than one way to do most things, and sometimes the way we’ve been trying may not have worked so it’s time to try something new. This is applicable in many aspects of our lives, and sticking to a healthy resolution is no different. For example, instead of always eating the same boiled chicken and vegetables for weight loss, learn to cook other healthy dishes and make it a fun new experience. Or, instead of always forcing yourself to stay on the treadmill, maybe go outside and run in nature. Whatever it may be, you’ll gain a lot from being more open minded and keeping your mind fresh with new ideas.
- Be kind to yourself. Setbacks are a part of life, and dwelling on small failures can have a detrimental impact on our goals. If you slip up and eat the wrong thing, forgive yourself and get back on track the next day. Remember that the decision to be healthy should be a lifelong decision, it’s not a fad just for the month of January and to be forgotten by the time March rolls around. The easier you make it for yourself to get back on the horse each time you fall off, the more likely you will be to stick to the resolution.
- Most importantly, have fun. If you’re not enjoying your new healthy life, you’ll be eager to turn your back on it as fast as you can and go back to your old “more fun” habits of eating unhealthy foods and never exercising. In the long run, we know that the decision to be healthy is absolutely the best one, so making the journey as enjoyable as possible gives you the best chance for longevity. Make exercises fun by joining activities like cycling or Zumba, and make healthy cooking a part of your social life. Embarking on a health journey should never be a punishment, rather a way to enrich your life for the better.
- Whether you’re swearing off a bad habit of challenging yourself to take up a few good habits, we hope these tips will help you achieve your goals this year, and encourage you to pass this along to your friends and family so you can do this together.