Everyone knows that the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are health related.
Even if you don’t necessarily participate in the whole idea of New Year’s Resolutions, you might be thinking about your health around this time of year, anyway. After all, during the holiday season, people usually eat a lot more of the kinds of foods doctors wag their finger at.
So what health goals did you set for yourself for 2018? Want to get out and run more? Want to start eating right? Plan to quit smoking? Want to inject some probiotics into your daily health routine?
That all sounds well and good, and we all start off January 1 with the best of intentions, but how quickly those goals often fall along the wayside!
I have a gymn close to my house, and there was a noticeable increase in members each morning, starting the First. But now, just two weeks later, the gym is already thinning out. By the end of February, I bet there will be those handful of loyal health nuts, the New Year’s Crowd having already forgotten about that 2018 health goal.
Pretty sad, right?
So what do you do to keep yourself on target, so to speak? How can you make sure you keep the goals you’ve set for yourself? Well, here are three things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance of holding onto your 2018 health goals throughout the year. These points may require you to change your Resolution just a little, but the results will make it worth it.
Chose Something You Enjoy
You know all those people crowding the gym in January? Why do so many of them quit before Valentine’s Day? You can usually see the answer right on their faces.
They go to the gym, hating every minute of it. They don’t like to get up early. They don’t like the gym. They don’t like lifting weights. So why do they go? Because they think they have to. They think that is the only way for them to meet their health goals.
What a shame! People perpetuate, in their own minds, that being healthy means torture, doing things they hate to do.
So, pretty soon, they quit.
The solution? Choose to do something that you enjoy.
Hate the gym? Love playing sports? Arrange to play basketball with some friends two or three times a week. Forget the gym! Hate mornings? Exercise in the evening, or in the middle of the day, at a time you’re more likely to enjoy it.
Basically, if you love doing something, you’re WAAAAAAY more likely to follow through with it. Make being healthy about having fun, not about doing things you hate.
Set Specific Mini-Goals
One major problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they are usually both very broad and very long-term.
“This year I’m going to get in shape.”
“I’m going to run more.”
“I’m going to eat right.”
Okay… So what exactly does that mean? What does it mean to “get in shape” or “ear right?” Those are very vague and subjective goals.
On top of that, they are all long term. You set them for the entire year. “This year, I’m going to…”
How likely are you to even remember that goal a whole year later?
Let’s put it this way: You wouldn’t order a pizza to be delivered to your house a year from now, right? You would pay for a meal you were planning on eating at the end of the year. We just don’t normally think out that far in advance. So why put goals so far out?
Try this: Be more specific with your goals. Define exactly what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Then divide that goal into smaller ones. Maybe 6 two-month goals. Or even 12 monthly goals.
“By February 28, I want to lose ten pounds.”
“I want to run every day in January.”
See? More specific. Shorter time. Easy to keep in mind all day long. Goals like this are much more likely to be met.
Find a Goal Partner
Each year, you may tell family and friends your New Year’s Resolution. You may announce at the dinner table, “This year, I’m going to do X.” Everyone claps and cheers you on. You feel good.
A month later, no one even remembers your health goals, least of all you. No one was keeping you on track. No one was holding you accountable.
How about this: Don’t just tell others what you plan to do; get someone to take on the goal with you.
Find a work-out buddy. Keep a food diary with a friend or family member. Then get together at the end of the week, trade food diaries, and praise or reprimand each other based on what you read.
If someone else is working on a health goal with you, you are much more likely to keep going, both for your sake and the sake of your goal partner.
Here at Poseymom, we love helping others be healthier, happier people. We hope you apply some of these suggestions and met your health goals in 2018. And if you didn’t set a goal for yourself, the year is still young! Don’t let it slip by! Set several mini goals for yourself, grab a partner, and get out there and get healthy!
Your future self will thank you!