4 Tips to Succeed at Your New Year’s Resolutions
by Dr. Amy Mercovich
1. See your resolution as a process rather than as an outcome. For instance, rather than making a resolution to “lose 20 pounds,” create a resolution based on the good habits that you need in order for 20 pounds to disappear from your body, such as “exercise for at least 30 minutes five times each week,” “eat dessert only on Saturday,” “go to bed by 10 pm to get 8 hours of sleep every night ” (did you know that more sleep makes it easier to lose weight?), “pack a healthy lunch everyday,” and “snack only on vegetables.”
You can’t make yourself into a different person with a wish, yet you can modify your actions so you become “you with better habits.”
2. Be realistic. Set a goal as a baby step rather than the magic-genie-in-a-bottle wish. If your resolution is to de-stress by starting a daily meditation or prayer practice, start with requiring yourself to sit quietly for only 5 minutes per day, not 30 minutes twice a day, a lofty goal that would be easy to fail at. If weight removal is your resolution, start with a resolution to remove 5 pounds, not the 30 or more that you may need to remove (and see #1 above!).
Making a resolution for something smaller than your ultimate goal in no way restricts you from surpassing the outcome yet offers you success that can help to keep you motivated.
3. Be accountable. Write the resolution down and tell as many people as you can about your goal and the new habits that you promise to have to reach that goal. So, announce your resolution on Facebook and ask for support, tell your kids and spouse what you are doing and why, or get an exercise buddy who will be waiting for you to show up for workouts.
Maybe you want to do your neck curve remodeling with your Denneroll foam wedge everyday… well, tell someone in the house at what time everyday you will do it so he/she can help to remind you. You could also create an incentive… perhaps something you get when you do it and something that your reminder person gets when he/she reminds you…marbles in a jar and a reward when the jar is full?
4. Forgive yourself when you screw up. Simply get up, dust yourself off, and keep going. Face it, if it were easy to have what you want in your resolution, you would already have it. Plan for tough situations and circumstances and by all means, do not give up when you mess up. You are only human and do not have to be perfect – ever! 🙂