Why new habits beat resolutions

Posted by Tom Mellish, Executive Director, IRTA on Jan 14, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The cold weather has set in. Holiday decorations are packed and put away. Hopefully, all the holiday goodies that were baked have been consumed.

Now is the time to get back on track and forget the frustration of broken diets and exercise routines that the past couple of weeks may have happened. The New Year isn’t meant to do a wholesale makeover or changes.

The New Year Resolution is meant to make some positive behavior changes. You may already have anxiety by not sticking your laundry list, but it is very important that you recognize the change you want it to take it small steps at a time.

So if you have already regressed, you have well over 300 days to get back on track and make some incremental gains. Make your resolutions realistic, with small attainable goals throughout the year instead of one large overwhelming goal.

Here are some tips:


Make resolutions you think you can keep. If your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week, instead of every day. If you want to eat healthier, try replacing a dessert with some fruit or yogurt that you enjoy, instead of seeing your diet as a punishment and not treating yourself to something healthier.

Change one behavior at a time. Replacing unhealthy habits with healthy habits take time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Remember: small incremental changes.

Consider joining a group in your neighborhood, work, or gym. To help reach your goals and share your experiences with friends and family. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes the journey easier and less intimidating.

Accept missteps. If you get sidetracked on the goal, don’t worry, this is normal. Don’t give up completely just because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped a workout. Everyone has ups and downs, just push yourself to get back on track.

Don’t be afraid to seek or accept help from those that care about you and listen. This will strengthen your resiliency and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, reach out to a trusted friend, advisor or even a professional. They can offer strategies to adjust your goals so they are attainable as you change from your unhealthy habits and behaviors.

Good luck on your journey, it is now time to get back on track.

Topics: Lifestyle

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