How to Keep Your New Year Resolutions

Okay, so 2016 is here and the month of holiday parties, cookie exchanges, peppermint bark, and champagne is officially behind you and what lies ahead are the inevitable New Year Resolutions. It happens every year, millions of people make the decision to be healthier, exercise more, and lose some weight. The intentions are genuine, but the goals usually are lofty and unattainable. You begin to rationalize the goal; start collecting delicious looking healthy recipes on instagram and pinterest, start a gym membership, and even get one of those green detox smoothie makers everyone seems to have. You are gaining momentum, you can see your summer body now, all you have to do is jump right on to the fitness bandwagon of clean eating and sweaty workouts for all of 2016- sound simple enough, right?
Research has shown that out of all the adults that make resolutions only about 8% actually go through with them. Why is that? Is it that we all are really bad at practicing good self control? The common theme seems to be that these resolutions like saying you will lose a hundred pounds or cut out all sugar from your diet are somewhat unrealistic and difficult to achieve. The reality is incredibly high expectations combined with low margins for error calls for a very high chance of the resolution failing.
So how about for this year your resolution is to not be a statistic. Yea, I know it is so much easier said than done, but maybe I can help you out a bit!
  1. First things first, why are you pursuing this goal? Whether it is fitness related or not, it is so incredibly important to zero in on why you are making this change. So ask yourself, why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want to quit smoking? Why do I want to learn to cook? It may sound silly because the answers seem obvious, but the more passionate and dedicated you are to the goal in your head the more possible it will be to stick to it all year round.
  2. Make ONE goal! The New Year is all about fresh starts and that is what makes it so appealing to make a bunch of scattered goals for yourself, but the more you make the more disappointed you will be if you drop the ball on them. People generally are overly ambitious when it comes to resolutions regarding lifestyle changes. What may help is making one major goal and work hard on that! Think of a goal that will have the greatest impact on your life for the better and work on that, all the little changes you may want will be sure to follow. For example, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle you may start by creating workout plans, cooking more home cooked meals, and finding a workout buddy. These little baby goals will help make the overall goal less taunting.
  3. Plan Plan Plan! Planning is your savior when it comes to staying on track with goals! Whether you need to write it down or type it out having it down on paper is gong to make a huge difference. The more specific you are the better it will work out. Also writing out goals and having them in front of you makes it much harder for you to avoid. Make a to-do list of tasks or a schedule filled with specific tasks will make it easier to measure how well you are sticking to your resolution and if you need to make any modifications.
  4. Tell people! Shout it from the rooftops! The more people that know about your goal, the more you are accountable to it. Let’s say you are trying to quit smoking and you have told all of your closest friends and family about your plan. As the days, weeks, and months go by you are naturally less inclined to cheat or quit if you have shared your goal with other people. The great thing about sharing your goals with the people you are close to is that they will regularly check in to see if you have been following your plan and they will motivate you to keep going.