This time of year, everyone is gearing up for their New Year’s Resolution. The most popular resolutions generally are weight loss and health-related. People are out signing up for new gym memberships and restocking their pantries with “health foods” that they’ve never eaten before. These New Year’s Resolutions are created with good intentions and the hopes that these changes will help the person be healthier and lose weight.
But does anyone actually plan to stick with the resolutions all year long? Do they go as far as creating a solid plan that will help them be successful for the entire year? Or do they decide to just “wing it” and hope for the best? Perhaps they’ll see how it’s going in a couple months, or more realistically, a couple weeks.
Instead of creating a New Year’s Resolution that will be out of your mind come February, choose one that will become a habit – a resolution that will become part of your lifestyle so it will stick beyond just 2019.
To figure out how to make your resolution successful, consider why most New Year’s Resolutions fail.
Here are the Top 3 mistakes when creating a New Year’s Resolution (and what to do instead):
1. Your Goal Is Not Specific
The main health goals I hear about are to “lose weight and eat better.” But often people don’t get more specific than that. How can you track your progress without a specific goal?
Weight loss can be a challenging goal for anyone. Tracking something that’s more tangible and in your control -- such as exercising more, eating more vegetables or drinking less soda -- may be a better goal than losing 10 pounds, which involves factors that are often uncontrollable.
Making healthy changes will hopefully allow you to lose weight, but if you don’t lose the 10 pounds you wanted by March, you can still feel a sense of accomplishment by making a healthy change to your lifestyle.
To make your goal specific, start by asking yourself these questions: How much? How often? And by when?
2. Your Goal is Unrealistic
Some people bite off more than they can chew with their New Year’s Resolution. They want to exercise for an hour every day or develop that six-pack physique by June. When your goals are overwhelming like this, you will eventually give up on them – and feel like you failed. Don’t set yourself up for failure!
To make your goal realistic, ask yourself these questions: Does this make me feel overwhelmed? When life gets busy, will I still be able to do this? Is this something that I can actually do all year long?
3. You Do Not Prepare for Inevitable Challenges
We often plan for the best-case scenario, but does the best case ever really happen? Of course not! You will get busy with work and/or family. You will be really tired some days. The motivation you’re feeling right now will not stick throughout the entire year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goal and be successful.
Plan so that you can accomplish your New Year’s Resolution even on the worst days.
To prepare for challenges, ask yourself these questions: What will impede me reaching my goal every day? What will make it easier for me to reach my goals? Is there a friend, family member, or support group that can help me stay motivated?
Now it’s time for you to choose your New Year’s Resolution and develop a plan so that it will become part of your lifestyle to last beyond 2019!