New Year, New You

Making goals and new year’s resolutions are easy to do, but sticking to these goals can be the challenge for the new year.  Determining which goals are actually attainable can be a difficult task as well.  Here are some tips to help you get through the year on a positive note.

Set Possible Goals – When you are setting goals for the new year, they should actually be goals that are attainable.  The goals should be specific and realistic in nature.  The goals should be measurable and should have a time-based component.  All goals should be set up in increments and they should build upon one another as you achieve them.

Make a Plan – Set up a schedule that is realistic and easy to follow.  Take small steps and don’t overwhelm yourself with the new tasks that will be too much for your schedule.  Squeeze in a workout every few days to ease into the transition and allow your body time to adjust.

Push Through – When you start something new, like quitting smoking or starting a new diet, make sure to push through when things are at first uncomfortable.  Discomfort will slowly fade when you are comfortable with the new change over time.  Giving up at first is the worst thing you can possibly do, so push on and slowly try and make a change for the better.

Takes Time – All new behavior takes time to actually stick.  It takes approximately 63 days to make an action a habit that your body recognizes as normal.  Try to stick with your new behavior for at least two months to make it a behavior that is part of you.

Timing is Key – There are opportune times to make a successful move.  Saying you will start a new behavior right after the holidays may not be the best time.  It may be better to select a time when everything has settled down and your new year has actually started.  Give yourself time to recover from holiday stress and then dive in.

Try Again – If you fall off the wagon at first, take a break and renegotiate with yourself.  If your diet and exercise didn’t work out as planned, consider cutting out sweets or soda for the year as a compromise.  Baby steps are a better way of getting things done, instead of monumental changes in your life that won’t last.

Track Progress – Make sure you track progress in a measurable way.  Consider weekly measurements in your plan and determine if you are achieving your goals, even if just a bit.  If you notice stagnant results, bump up the behavior to get the results you desire.

Rewards – If you are on a hard-core diet where you never get sugar or breads or fats, consider making those sweets a nice reward for good behavior.  Giving yourself rewards throughout the process is a way to ensure you continue the behavior and get the results you are working for on a daily basis.

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