Thursday, January 4, 2018

6 tricks to make your healthy New Year’s resolutions stick

It’s that time of the year again.

Have you made a promise to yourself to lose weight? Stop smoking? … Exercise more? … Eat more veggies? … Get enough sleep? … Stop drinking? … Manage your stress and worry less?

Many people consider the beginning of the year an ideal time to make healthy lifestyle changes, but sometimes keeping New Year’s resolutions proves to be too challenging.

2018 New Year's resolutions

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: It takes more than willpower

Do you make the same resolution year after year but find yourself giving up your new healthy habit by February? Is your annual mantra mid-spring: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try ... again next January”?

If so, you’re not alone. Only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals and that’s usually because good intentions are not enough to make new healthy habits stick.

Setting attainable (and sustainable) goals is key.

If you’ve had trouble sticking with your resolutions in the past, don’t try to make several changes at once. Instead, pick one and stay strong because patience and consistency are crucial factors for success. Research shows that it takes, on average, two months minimum for a new activity to become routine.

This year, set yourself up for success. Pledge to follow these six tricks from Logansport Memorial Hospital experts on how to permanently incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life.

1. Pick a start date

It’s tricky to try and start a new habit on New Year’s day. If you really want to succeed, start after the holiday is over and everything in your life gets back to normal. Make sure you are well-rested, supported by positive people, and, above all else, ready.

2. Prepare for success

It is next to impossible to establish a new habit like eating healthier have if you have no healthy food in your home. Whatever lifestyle change is your goal, be prepared to give yourself the best chance for success. If you’re going to start running, make sure you have appropriate clothes, shoes, and music ready.

3. Start small

Pick a resolution that you think you can keep. No one climbs Mt. Everest until they first climb the hill in their neighborhood. If your goal is to exercise more, schedule two to three days to workout. Even if you feel great, don’t overdo it. For example, going from no activity to lots of activity is a recipe for getting injured or burning out, both of which can derail your resolution progress.

4. Talk about it

Ask for support or find an accountability partner. Share your experiences with family and friends—both the ups and the downs. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with will make the journey to a healthier lifestyle worthwhile.

5. Don’t beat yourself up

Everyone has ups and downs. We all stumble. It’s what you do after you have a setback that matters. Pick yourself up and continue.

Don’t give up. You can do it. Believe it; know it.

Maybe you skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Your New Year’s resolution isn’t a race. After any mistake, resolve to get back on track.

6. Plan rewards

Keep yourself going with small rewards as encouragement, especially during those hard first weeks. Make sure the reward won’t derail you. Pick something small but satisfying: a new book; a trip to the movies; a long, indulgent nap.

Whatever your healthy goals are, Logansport Memorial Hospital is here to help. Schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can partner with you in 2018 and beyond.

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