For some of us, New Year’s resolutions include bartering or making promises we know we wont keep. Have you ever heard yourself saying, “Please God, just end this hangover and I promise I will never drink again.” Unfortunately, this promise, like many other New Year’s Resolutions is quickly bargained down or completely forgotten when the next weekend arrives. Making drastic changes is not an effective way to achieve long-term change. With this reality in mind, we have some suggestions of ways to form longer lasting good habits in the New Year instead of attempting radical change that wont last more than a week or two.
Don’t rely on pressure to get healthy – We’ve all felt that twinge of guilt when our belly is larger than we’ve hoped for the coming summer season. Try to channel this feeling in December instead of waiting for the impending doom of June!
Try This: Diets that require extreme changes over a short period of time are not sustainable. Trying to trim 10 pounds of fat in two weeks is neither safe nor realistic. Instead, create a reasonable weight loss plan that includes exercise and a healthier diet over a series of months, not days.
Bad Habits Are Easier To Make Than To Break – People are creatures of habit, which is part of the reason why many of us end up in poor shape. Once the morning Danish, and beers every Sunday while watching football become part of a routine, it’s incredibly difficult to break these habits. This leads to a struggle to lose weight and a lack of desire to seek more invigorating or intellectually interesting pursuits.
Try This: Build a new routine and stick to it. Taking up running or an exercise regiment may seem challenging at first, but after a few weeks, it will become second nature. Make sure to set an achievable goal. Maybe a half marathon isn’t in your future but promising to go for an hour walk every night after dinner is. Grab a friend and start a new hobby together to spend less time in front of the TV. Whatever changes you make, be sure to pursue them diligently. You will be healthier and happier for the effort.
Don’t lie to yourself or make excuses – The holiday season is a great time to get together with friends and family, both old and new. Inevitably, there is an overabundance of ways to overindulge in food and drink. We often promise ourselves we will “start our diet tomorrow!” Making the same unrealistic resolutions every year or promising to become a healthier you tomorrow is just an excuse to overindulge. Be honest with yourself this holiday season and hold yourself to higher health standards!
Try This: Practice portion control during the big meal, and pass on the extra drink that will be the talk of next year’s Christmas Extravaganza! Your body, head, and future self will certainly thank you!