25 Ways to Recharge Your New Year's Resolutions from 25 Ways to Recharge Your New Year's Resolutions
25 Ways to Recharge Your New Year's Resolutions
Research has shown that only 8 percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Are you going to be an exception or part of the herd? The most important trick is to keep reminding yourself that you’re taking care of yourself. No one cares more about your mental and physical health than you. Your body certainly doesn’t care about anybody else.
Break them down
The top 5 resolutions are losing weight, getting organized, saving money, enjoying life to the fullest and staying fit. What is the one thing that describes them all? They are too vague. This is a major problem with picking resolutions, Talane Miedaner, who has over 20 years of experience coaching people, says. Spend more quality time with my family, is a badly phrased objective. “A much better and more specific goal would be Friday night is games night with the kids.”
Make them short-term
Studies show that if your goals are immediate, you have better chances of accomplishing them. If you perceive the 12 months in a calendar year to be its “phases,” then think of your one big goal having several stages before it’s fully achieved. If you want to get healthy, then set a goal to lose five pounds each month. Another way is to incorporate one healthy habit into your daily routine every 30 days. Going at this rate, your resolutions are likely not going to have anything to do with fitness because you’ll be in awesome shape by then.
When to restart may be key
Certain dates are more likely to spur goal initiation than others, according to research. Emphasizing a temporal landmark denoting the beginning of a new time period increases people’s intentions to initiate goal pursuit. So don’t wait for Monday, if the date is not significant to you in some way. Start on your birthday or another anniversary instead.
Organize your time efficiently
You need to make time to work toward your resolutions. If you didn’t organize your time efficiently, it’s no wonder you fell off track and hit a few setbacks. You’re probably feeling stressed and anxious. Organizing and prioritizing your tasks will help you stay on track toward achieving your goal. Spend extra time to work on your schedule, then stick to it.
Change your strategy
Keeping track of your advancement is important and also intuitive. Use your body as guide. Bodies get accustomed to a new habit and may stop responding. This means you have to change your strategy but not your goal. Don’t keep the same gym routine, for example. You’ll easily get bored and go off track.
Ask “why” you want this
“Most people are not emotionally connected to their resolution,” John Kalinowski, life coach and mindfulness experts, says. “They want something but don’t really know why.” Getting fit is always great but you have to understand why it’s what you need. The “why” is the strongest motivational factor. Once you have the answer, the rest falls into place, he adds.
Change your environment
Post them everywhere
Use visual reminders to get yourself going and a structure for support, Miedaner says. Your new habit trigger might be tidying up – as soon as you've cleaned the kitchen, go for a walk. Use sticky notes, set reminders on your phone, or enlist a friend to go on walks with you. Have something somewhere to regularly remind you of why you want to achieve your goal.
Tie new habit to existing behavior
Making realistic New Year’s resolutions has a lot to do with creating a new habit. The best way is to do it daily and tie it to an existing behavior. “It’s easier to tag a new habit to one already in place,” Kalinowski says. If you want to jog more, do it while you’re out for a walk; if you want to have glowing skin, moisturize after showering; if you aim to floss more, do it after you brush your teeth; if you want to work out more, get up during commercials on TV and do an exercise.
Rewards are a good thing
Some resolutions come with built-in rewards, Kalinowski says. For example, you’re never going to regret going to the gym. But it’s important to acknowledge what you did and mark the occasion accordingly. “Most people will just say ‘I could have been better,’ or ‘I should have done this instead of that,’ but this is the wrong approach,” he adds. Positive reinforcement is much more effective. Small prizes – such as going to the spa – are great encouragement – as long as it’s not overindulging on junk food or sitting on the couch for hours.
Do it for you
This one may be obvious but it has to be said. No one cares more about your mental and physical health than you. Your body certainly doesn’t care about anybody else. Feel responsible towards yourself and no one else. Ask yourself whether what you’re trying to achieve is important to you and you only. It’s OK to be selfish like that.
Ask for help
Once you decide for yourself that you want be more active, ask for help. You most certainly know someone whose resolution is the same or very similar. You are not alone in this. Ask a professional for help if you feel that will make you more accountable. Pay a trainer, if your goal is to get fit, to tell you what to do. You’re not going to want to waste money, so, chances are, you will do what s/he says.
Find a partner
You are more likely to fall off track when you are going at it alone. It’s easier to meet your goals when you are working together with someone – personal trainer, dietitian – or someone that has the same goals as you. They will keep you on the right track by holding you accountable and motivating you.
Know the obstacles
Anticipate the problems so you know how to handle them when they arise in order to stay on track with your bigger plan. You’ve probably heard the expression that nothing worthwhile in life is easy. You will face many challenges on your way to becoming a healthier person. Try to plan for them as best as possible. If you know you’re not a morning person, don’t plan to exercise before work. If you love pumpkin pie too much, don’t give it up but refrain from having other sweets.
Talk about your goals
Start to talk to people about your goals. Build a team of people who will support you and hold you accountable to these goals. Tell them your goals and deadlines, and then report back to them with your progress. This will help keep you motivated and on track. Your friends and family are your biggest fans usually. If you are struggling, discuss difficulties and new strategies with them.
Make small changes
Make smaller resolutions that will help you reach a larger goal. For instance, instead of saying, “I resolve to lose 10 pounds this year,” resolve to keep a food journal and eat more fruits and vegetables. Instead of having lattes in the morning, have some tea – unsweetened iced or cold. Those actions are more targeted to helping you have healthier food habits, which may help you reach and maintain a weight-loss goal.
There will be days when you are too stressed or too tired to stay on schedule. Know that you can get back on track right away. You don’t have to wait for Monday. The sooner you start up again, the sooner you’ll feel better and the less overwhelmed. You are most likely not going to achieve all of the small goals you set before reaching the big one. And that’s perfectly normal. It’s quite unrealistic to exercise four days a week for 12 months in a row. There will be complications and unexpected situations.
Don’t hide the scale or the measuring tape. Keep a log of how much you’ve achieved every week. Seeing the physical proof of your progress is extremely motivating. Also, you can be sure you’ve completed a minor goal so go ahead and reward yourself. Moreover, monitoring your improvement (or not) is a great way to get feedback on cause and effect.
Don’t judge yourself harshly
“Be gentle on yourself,” Kalinowski says. People don’t usually go to the gym several times a day five days a week, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t either. “Some stress can be productive, but making yourself feel like a failure is very discouraging,” he adds. Perfection is unattainable, so don’t aim for it. “We are always going to be perfectly imperfect.”
Don’t aim for ‘never’ or ‘always’
You’ve probably heard personal trainers say that some movement is better than none at all. The same principle applies to your resolutions. Don’t fall into a binge-eating phase because you had dessert after dinner. The difference is thousands of calories and a broken spirit. You don’t have to skip the gym all together because you don’t have an hour and a half to spare – you can work out in just 15 minutes and get better results. Never go “cold turkey” with your diet or exercising. You risk injuries, burnout and stress (and that can cause weight gain).
Imagine you’ve succeeded
“This is wonderful,” Anna Tsui, Transformational Life Coach. Talk about your goal and create plans once it's been achieved. Imagine the best case scenario and how you’ll feel once you’re there. For example, you want to lose weight and have more energy so you can play with your grandkids. What would that be like? “Positive motivators are good for achieving long-term goals,” Tsui says.
Make resolutions enjoyable
Think about steps that can help you reach your goals. “Resolving to drink more water but not a huge water fan? Add some flavor to your water with some 100 percent fruit juice,” Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition says. Her favorite for adding flavor to water or sparkling water is POM 100% Pomegranate Juice. It “provides a sweet and tart flavor with no added sugar. The juice gets its ruby red color from polyphenols,” she says.
Be realistic with time
Another big problem for people is aiming to do too much and achieve it too soon or all at once, Kalinowski says. You’re not going to suddenly eat 1,200 calories a day, watch no TV and go to the gym every day, so don’t even try because you’re only sabotaging yourself, he adds. “You need to wee habits into your life to make them sustainable.” Allow enough time to do things effectively.
Just give it a try, you may like it
Set a trial period. Break the ultimate goal down into daily tasks with a weekly strategy. Fine-tune and tweak plans every week, if something doesn’t feel right. This lets you change course very quickly towards the achieving the goal the fastest way possible. So don’t engrave your plan in stone thinking that one deviation will ruin your whole strategy and, therefore, you have to wait until 2019 to start over.