Advice for Sticking to Those New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Matt Schwartz on Mon, Dec 28, 2020 @ 09:12 AM

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Is your list of New Year’s Resolutions longer than your shopping list? If you’re like many people, you are already dreading that post-holiday slump and the long winter months ahead – fearing that by the time March rolls around, you’ll be beating yourself up over your failed resolve.

An article on www.apa.org points out that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.

By making your resolutions realistic, there's a greater chance you'll keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life. APA offers these tips when thinking about a New Year’s resolution:

Start Small

Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

Change One Behavior at a Time

Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Talk About It 

Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up 

Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and okay. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to get back on track.

Ask For Support 

Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

Topics: Worksite Wellness, Employee Engagement