Most people feel that the coming of a new year brings with it the opportunity for a new start, adopting new lifestyle changes and getting a new lease on life. We see a significant increase in gym memberships as the new year approaches, and folks start spending more time in the produce section during the first couple of weeks in January.
Making New Year’s resolutions is a great tradition that provides people with a perfect opportunity to start making positive changes that can help them live better, get healthy and more fully enjoy their lives. The trouble is that too many of us start remembering just how much we love carbs and hate working out right about the middle of January. By February, many of us are steadily slipping back into the bad habits we were so dedicated to changing, and our resolve to keep our resolutions begins to slip away as well.
As way too many of us start eyeing our comfy couches and considering enjoying our unhealthy habits for just one more year before giving it another try, we do not always think about how even one more year of unhealthy eating or a lack of exercise can worsen our chronic conditions, damage our overall health and well-being, and shorten our lives.
2014 has only been around for a few weeks so far, and if your resolutions for living a healthier life are already fading into history there is still time to grab the reins and take control of your health.
Here are four tips for putting a plan in place to help you succeed in achieving your goals this year, since failing to plan is definitely planning to fail when it comes to your health.
1. Make clear goals. Just saying you are going to exercise more or eat better is not enough. Clearly define your objectives, such as walking 30 minutes three times a week or cutting your fat intake in half.
2. Keep your eye on the prize. Make a list of all of the great things that come along with your chosen changes. This might include more confidence, more energy for playing with your grandchildren, a reduction in chronic symptoms or the chance to enjoy a longer life.
3. Plan for rewards along the way. Make a list of smaller goals you can achieve while working towards your big goals. Stay motivated by rewarding yourself for every 5 pounds you lose or 10 minutes you add to your morning walk.
4. Make lifestyle changes more convenient. Stay motivated by planning convenience into your routine. This might mean spending a few minutes each Sunday preparing healthy snacks to keep on hand throughout the week or laying out your morning workout clothes the night before.
You deserve to live the best life possible. Make a plan to keep your New Year’s resolutions, and make this year the year you take control of your health – and your life.