Let’s face it, sticking to your New Year’s resolutions can be tough. As you progress through the new year you may still be working towards your resolutions or you may find yourself losing motivation, but if you fall into the second category, the problem may not be you – it might be your goals.
A recent experiment conducted by Inc. Magazine’s Peter Economy used Polly, an artificial intelligence marketing tool, to look at 274,779 New Year’s resolutions gathered over the past four years to project what the top resolutions would be for 2020.
According to Polly the top 10 resolutions are:
1. Actually doing my New Year’s resolution
2. Trying something new
3. Eat more of my favorite foods
4. Lose weight/diet
5. Go to the gym
6. Be happier/better mental health
7. Be healthier
8. Be a better person
9. Upgrade my technology
10. Staying motivated
You may be saying to yourself, “Oh yeah, I would like to do those too!” However, for the most part, these resolutions are too broad.. It is almost overwhelming!
Instead of treating the new year as a “once a year” goal setting time, try to think of each month as a way to start fresh. Choose 1-2 items you want to focus on that month. Then turn your resolutions into reality by putting together specific steps or “to-do” items. This will lead you in the right direction toward meeting your broader goal. These steps don’t have to be anything extravagant, just attainable. Even a small shift in our lifestyle can go a long way.
When the first of the month comes around evaluate how you did with your resolution. Be patient with yourself and continue to work toward making daily action a habit. After evaluating, decide if you would like to add another resolution or continue with the one from the previous month. Below are just a few ways you can make your resolution a reality with the help of small, specific and measurable objectives.
Resolution: “Be healthier”
Reality: I will incorporate 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables into my daily diet.
Resolution: “Go to the gym”
Reality: I will incorporate a 10-minute walk around my neighborhood after dinner 3 times a week.
Resolution: “Be Happier/ Better Mental Health”
Reality: I will start my day with a grateful heart by praying or meditating right when I wake up for 5 minutes. I will focus on the things in my life that I am thankful for.
It’s important that you hold yourself accountable, but if you fail one resolution, it is okay—do not give up. One failure is not overall failure and we are often our own worst critics. Our minds are so powerful that simply believing in yourself can change the outcome. Believe that deep down you will succeed no matter how long it will take you. Love yourself, believe in yourself and keep going. You got this!
Want to make eating healthier a priority? One of our dietitians can help: https://www.ochsner.org/services/nutrition