How to Stick to Your New Year’s Health Resolutions

The new year has arrived and resolutions abound. Nearly all of us have gotten into the habit of making (then breaking) resolutions that we fail to accomplish, yet roll over to the next year with no new plan of attack. Many of those resolutions happen to be health centric. This year, we’re going to stick to our health goals. Here’s how:

Set Realistic Resolutions

The first step toward keeping a resolution is to set one that is doable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having big goals and wanting to reach for the stars. However, expecting yourself to achieve such lofty goals without setting smaller milestones first, is a problem. Remember that your resolution should accommodate your starting point. If you’d like to drink more water this year, don’t ignore the factors that prevented you from accomplishing that goal in the past. Make your goal attainable. Your initial goal doesn’t have to be your end goal.

Find an Accountability Partner

Commitments are always easier to keep when you have someone checking on your progress. When holding yourself accountable fails, rest easy knowing you’ve prepared for that moment by recruiting backup. Ask a close friend or family member to join in on getting healthier with you. Or, ask them to commit to regularly asking you about your accomplishments. This safeguard works best when your accountability partner is kind but consistent. Once you find someone who is open to helping you, explain why your resolution is vital. This will help your partner understand the importance of their role and why assisting you in your goals is an important task.

Set Check-Ins

Early on, analyze your resolutions and make them measurable. (i.e. How much water qualifies as more water?) After quantifying your goals, schedule progress markers. You should have at least four checkpoints that help you assess whether you’re on the right track or need to make changes. During these check-ins, you can also move your goal line if you’ve already conquered your original resolution. These scheduled checkpoints give you an opportunity to assess your progress and decide how to proceed. They are also designed to make you accountable to yourself way before the end of the year. Remember to be completely honest about the work you have (or haven’t) put toward achieving your health goals. It’s ok to have setbacks or delays but never give up.

Reward Your Small Successes

Trying to change your lifestyle is never easy. Resolutions are made to do exactly that. Change takes time, patience and self love. You won’t automatically reach every goal with consistency, and that’s to be expected; but you will make small steps that lead to big improvements over time. Don’t wait until you’ve achieved flawless mastery to pat yourself on the back. Celebrate day one. Celebrate your first day back after taking a break. Celebrate your determination and celebrate your final result. Encourage yourself and the road to success will be a much happier journey.

When times get tough, remember why you made your health resolutions. Think of the endless benefits of your follow through. Your family needs a strong, healthy you and you are the only person who can control the choices that make or break your health. With a solid support system, your resolutions will become habit and healthy living will be a permanent way of life.