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Helpful Tips For Maintaining New Year’s Resolutions

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New year, new you. You’ve heard it before, but how do you set up, and keep, your healthy New Year’s resolutions all year long?

Go into your resolution with the mindset that beginning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. Pick something you’re passionate about; something that will be of benefit to you.

Remember, this is about being your best self. Your resolution should 100% be about you, and it doesn’t have to conform to societal norms. It's imperative that you take sole ownership of it and follow through with it. Convince yourself that there is no other option and you will succeed.

What are some aspects that should define your resolution?

1) Detailed

Have you ever heard the saying ‘It’s all in the details?’ That carries some weight. Your resolution(s) need to be exact so you know what you are trying to achieve. And don’t rush into a resolution either; you are on your clock. Take your time in crafting what you want to achieve. They are called New Year’s resolutions for a reason, but if you haven’t set goals yet, take dedicated time to think about what you want to achieve.

2) Measurable

You need to be able to measure your goals. Whether it’s the number of times you work out per week, the number of pounds you’d like to lose or gain, or healthy meals prepared per week, you have to be able to measure it and track your process. Logging this data in a journal can be a big boost to your confidence. The more you see yourself working towards that goal and achieving it, the more likely it is to become a habit.

3) Attainable

Go big or go home? That’s a saying that some people like to abide by, but for those who are trying to establish new habits that might not be your best bet. Start small. Build confidence. The higher you set the bar early on, the more daunting the process might seem to you. It’s important to remember that it takes time to create change. Be strong with your mind and convince yourself you can do it. One step at a time. Create a rhythm, repeat those steps, get comfortable, and that will help you attain your goal.

4) Passionate

Does it matter to you or are you doing this for someone else? Prioritize yourself. Make this about you and your goals. The more you’re able to take ownership of the goal you want to reach, the better the chance you’ll have of getting it done.

5) Timely

It’s important to view your resolution through the lens of a timeframe. Set attainable mini goals to reach throughout your journey. This will give you benchmarks to hit on the way to your goal. Sometimes setting a goal for a calendar year can seem daunting, but if you slice it up into four, three-month frames it can make it seem much more achievable and offer small victories along the way.

6) Don't give in

Be understanding and knowledgeable of the resolution you are pursuing. Know that it will be a challenge. Be open with those around you and let them know what you are trying to achieve; they can offer support. Stay committed and the result at the end of your journey will be rewarding.

Here are four ways you can stay healthy all year long:

1) Avoid trendy diets

Low carb, short-term diets allow you to lose weight quickly but don’t really help you to keep it off. The food choices we make are a habit; we often are on auto-pilot when it comes to what we decide to eat. Work on forming healthier habits but changing one thing at a time, such as switching soda for water or adding a green vegetable to every meal. The goal is to consume more food from the earth by eating vegetables, fruits, grains and lean sources of protein like fish and chicken.

2) Focus on your needs

There’s no magic button or one-size-fits all health plan. What works for your friend might not work for you – and that’s OK! Focus on what you need to improve on and take it one step at a time. Regularly visiting a health professional can help you find the perfect strategy that’s right for you.

3) Write it down

Logging what you eat and drink makes you more conscious of what you are fueling your body with and can also help identify habits to work on. If you find you regularly reach for a soda mid-afternoon, try substituting water instead. Many times, people that have lost weight and kept it off five and 10 years down the road credit food journaling. If tech is your thing, there are plenty of food tracking apps that can help you on your journey.

4) Get active, don’t be afraid to start small

Make manageable and achievable personal goals for yourself, so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up on them. If you want to incorporate more walking into your day, try parking further away at work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Small steps can add up to big results over time. Find a workout routine that you enjoy and fits your lifestyle. Choose something that is easy to do; if it’s too time consuming to get to the gym, try working out at home or start a group workout in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to try something new like a barre class or join an adult sports league. Teaming up with a friend or partner for workouts is a great way to stay accountable and add a social element to your fitness routine.

Bonus: Be kind to yourself

Making conscious, smart food and fitness choices every day is not easy. There will be times where you will eat that piece of cheesecake – and that’s okay! Give yourself a little grace to make a better health-focused decision the next time and go from there.

Remember – each little step adds up to making a healthier you in 2023 and beyond!

Learn more about Ericka Flood, MD.

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