The Keys to Keeping your Resolutions

by Samantha Eakes, DPT

It’s that time of year! With the busy holiday season wrapping up and 2019 just around the corner, I’m sure many of us are thinking about resolutions. Many of us will create a resolution or goal related to improving our health. Whether it’s a fitness plan or an intention to eat healthier, how can you stick to your New Year’s resolution? Check out these tips.

Start Small: Realistic goals are important. Sure, you want to exercise 5 days a week, cut out sugar, meditate daily, etc.–we all have the best intentions, right? But if your resolution is not currently a part of your regular routine, trying to achieve big goals right away may be tough and lead to discouragement. Conversely, by holding yourself to practicing something you know you can do (e.g., drink water to avoid late night snacking; taking the stairs at work; meditating for 10 minutes each morning) you’ll feel proud of your “little” accomplishments and encouraged to try for more. Write your goals down, being realistic and honest (but also gentle) with yourself. Maybe you didn’t meet your goal today; make a plan to do it tomorrow! Identify obstacles (such as time constraints, schedule conflicts or fatigue), and make a concrete plan to overcome them. Hold onto those big goals–but start by achieving the small ones.

Determine stress management strategies:
Think of stress management as the “secret ingredient” to success with your resolutions. Making resolutions, especially those related to health, means making changes. Change isn’t easy and often results in increased stress. Stress is part of life; how we deal with stress makes all the difference. So while managing stress can seem like a resolution in itself, it’s important to realize that having strategies in place to deal with stress are crucial to sustaining your resolutions. When poorly managed, stress can cause us to feel lack of control, disheartened, discouraged, make bad decisions, etc. Not sure where to start? Try some deep, diaphragm breathing to start. Check out our resources and classes. Download a meditation app on your phone. Come to one of our Yoga Nidra guided meditation classes.

Focus on the positive:
Achieving “big goals” takes time. Making changes in your life takes time. If you focus too much on your end goal it may be hard to see the positive changes you have made. So be sure to take a step back and recognize the small goals you have achieved and small steps you have made. Those small steps, over time, lead to the big changes.

Of course, were always here to help! Good luck, New Year’s Resolutioners!

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