Tips for making new year health resolutions that stick

AlayaCare Posted on 18/01/2022 11:35:00 PM

So, it’s the New Year and you’re feeling like making a resolution to improve your health. We’ve all been there. “I’m going to lose weight!”. “I’m going to run a marathon!”. “I’m going to stop drinking alcohol!”.

While made with the best intentions, most of our resolutions will sadly fail. In fact, one study found that only 19 percent of individuals keep their resolutions. Most of us have abandoned our aspirations by mid-January.

And by the time February and March rolls around, and we feel our unused gym memberships sitting in our wallets and judging us, feelings of failure, anxiety and low self-esteem can affect our mental health.

It’s tempting to blame our failed resolutions on our own inadequacies or lack of willpower. But in most cases, our resolutions were just never set up to work to begin with. Let’s run through some steps we can take to set up our goals for long-term, meaningful success.

Number 1

Set clearly defined goals

Many people proclaim at the start of the year they’re “going to get into shape”. But what does that mean? What does that look like to you? Do want you want to lose a set number of kilos, or do you want to fit into a certain dress size? Define your goal with an outcome that you can measure.

Number 2

Break it up into small wins

Once you’ve defined your goal, try and break it down into smaller milestones. When we hit these mini-goals regularly, we get a confidence boost, and we feel more positive. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, start with scheduling one or two days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing your daily chocolate snack with something more nutritious, like a piece of fruit or yoghurt, instead of launching straight into an extreme crash diet.

Number 3

Plan for it

Let’s face it, most of us have probably used the excuse of “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” to get out of making changes to our habits. But there are enough hours in the week that we can all choose to make time if we want to. The best way to make this happen is to schedule this time in your calendar, like you would a work meeting or a health appointment. For example, block out time to go for a run, or to do healthy meal-prep for the week ahead.

Number 4

Track your progress

“If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of psychology. Open a blank Word document or start a new page in your journal where you log your progress regularly in measurable terms. These measurements will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. This will also help you to identify plateaus or sticking points in your progress, so you can adjust your efforts to overcome them.

Number 5

Talk about it

“If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of psychology. Open a blank Word document or start a new page in your journal where you log your progress regularly in measurable terms. These measurements will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. This will also help you to identify plateaus or sticking points in your progress, so you can adjust your efforts to overcome them.

Number 6

Be kind to yourself

Remember, no one and nothing in this world is perfect – so don’t perfection your end goal. Keep in mind that set-back and mistakes are a completely normal part of reaching important life goals. If you ate a pizza or didn’t exercise one week, that’s okay – just don’t give up. Reset your mini-goals the next week and get yourself back on track.

At AlayaCare, we believe in better outcomes, including the better health outcomes of our clients and the industry. Contact AlayaCare to learn more.

Topics: Mental health, Wellbeing