Six tips to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

calvin-and-hobbesMany of us make New Year’s resolutions — but so few of us follow through on them, and we are often disappointed in our unfulfilled long-term goals.

Set yourself up to succeed.  Take a new perspective on your annual resolution-making, and this handful of ideas we’ve found are helpful in creating, and sticking to, our New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement:

Make your resolution specific — and measurable.  Resolved to “get in shape” in 2017? Refine that resolution so that you are working toward one particular aspect of fitness, that you can track and measure as you go: an improved BMI, running a 5K next fall, doing fifty sit-ups, or walking around Gray’s Lake in under 45 minutes.

Make change incrementally (over the long term). Break a big goal into smaller, manageable bite-sized pieces. “Get organized” with a plan to clean out and organize one cupboard per week. Start to “get fit” by trying out one beginner-level weekly class before upping your workout routine from zero to five times a week.

Allspice-bike-crew-2012If it’s not secret – tell them about it. – choose someone to be accountable to, as you work on developing new habits.

Make time. “Finding” time for keeping resolutions can be hard – look at is as though you are “making” time to pursue your goals instead, even if that means literally scheduling an appointment on the calendar for that weeknight workout or weekend cupboard de-cluttering.

Doing little > doing nothing at all. Keeping your new year’s resolution is not an everything-or-nothing proposition. If you can’t do it all right now, do as much as you can. Can’t fit in an hour-long workout? A good stretch and fifteen minutes’ brisk walk is good enough for today. Making it just part of the way to an incremental goal is still progress!

Keep going. If you struggle to meet a milestone, or suffer a setback, don’t give up! Try to put struggles into perspective if you can: that plate of loaded french fries were delicious, and you’ll have an opportunity for a fresh start and healthier eating tomorrow.

You’ll find more food, fitness, and organizational hints and helps in our next blog post: