Three Ways to Avoid Failed New Year’s Resolutions
As we prepare for the start of another new year, it would be easy to stick with the same common New Year’s resolutions. This is the year to realize that you make resolutions that will last more than a few weeks. If you are looking to make big improvements in your life this year, here are key approaches that work.
Not Another Exercise
The most common New Year’s resolution is to exercise more. People will pledge to work out regularly or a specific number of times per week. The problem is exercise becomes an add-on to your regular life. These means it can quickly be pushed to the side. Even if you spend hours on the treadmill, you won’t be making a significant and lasting change in your life.
The solution is to take a bold step to re-evaluate and jump-start your fitness. Do this by embarking on an intensive program where you can focus and see results. This will help to reset your health and outlook, making it easier to continue exercising on an ongoing basis. Book a martial arts or meditation retreat where you can have fun while you focus on improving your health. Make a plan to run a marathon and join a training group to make that happen. Learn how to swim or find a new sport to start. Keep in mind that you are more likely to continue with a new exercise plan if you are working out as part of a group. Find friends or neighbours who you can join regularly for walks.
So often we make resolutions to eat healthier food. The problem is that resolution is really too vague to be effective. That means people usually quickly revert back to their usual eating habits. A better approach is to pick more specific goals. Make a plan to cook and eat a healthy meal at least once per week. Make a resolution to replace your daily morning baked treat with a healthier alternative, two days per week.
These may seem like small steps but the calories and improved nutrition can make a significant difference. These small changes can also lead to other improvements. Your weekly healthy meal could become two, once you’ve mastered new recipes. As you get used to trying new foods and finding alternatives to the food you’ve been eating, it will be easier to make healthy food a greater part of your life.
All or Nothing
Most resolutions fail because people have an all or nothing approach. You plan to stop smoking but, as soon as you have one cigarette, you may declare your resolution over. A busy week at work can quickly lead you to miss your daily gym workout and then give up.
Instead of a do or die approach to resolutions, give yourself room to fail and then recover. Realize there will be good and bad weeks. If you plan to stop smoking or drinking, give yourself a few do-overs. Plan a few cheat days for your new diet. Expect there to be weeks when you won’t be able to fulfil your exercise schedule. It is better to set a lower goal that you can meet than to create a goal you’ll only be able to meet for a few weeks.