Think back. Have you ever kept one of your New Year’s resolutions? Forty-one percent of Americans make a resolution, but the majority of us don’t succeed in sticking with them. In fact, most resolutions are only kept for one week. Predictably, weight loss was the number one resolution from 2017, followed by life/self-improvement, better financial decisions and quitting smoking. In 2018, resolution trends remained similar to previous years with eating healthier and exercising more at the top of the list – along with spending less money. So how do you make a resolution that will last?
How to Stick With It: Start small. If your goal is to increase exercise, start by adding one day at a time, instead of all seven. If you want to improve nutrition, add one serving of fruits and vegetables at lunch. Once you have had success with the first initiative, add a second one – such as a second day of exercise or one serving of fruits and vegetables at breakfast. Change a single behavior at a time and have a specific plan in place to do so. Try replacing one unhealthy behavior with a healthy behavior. It took time to develop the unhealthy behavior and it will take time to get used to the healthy behavior you are introducing. Talk about your resolutions with friends and family. They are your support group – they’ll cheer you on when you succeed and pick you up if you hit bumps in the road. Setting and accomplishing goals takes time. Bottom Line: People make New Year’s resolutions every year. Some goals are easier to stick to than others. Make goals small and achievable, take your time, and be kind to yourself if you miss a day at the gym or eat an unhealthy meal.
Written by: Emelie Buell, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about the Wellness Workdays Dietetic Internship.