Keeping Your New Year Resolutions
As we move into the New Year, you may be craving a fresh start. The holiday season can often derail our normal fitness and nutrition habits. While health should be a year-long pursuit, New Year’s resolutions can be a fun opportunity to change your habits for the better.
Many people select over-ambitious or vague resolutions, and this leads them to lose track of their resolutions before they achieve their goals. Have you ever noticed how packed gyms tend to be in January, but by February they clear out significantly?
Here are some tips for sticking to your resolution throughout 2019:
- Write it down where you’ll see it. If you made a goal to eat healthier, put a reminder on your fridge. If you made a resolution to walk during your lunch hour, set an alert on your phone or a post-it at your desk. If you made a goal to gain strength and lift more, write down your progress throughout the year.
- Select SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These guidelines will help you to pick goals that are better defined and easier to stick to. So, instead of setting “lose weight” as a goal, you could set “lose five pounds by May 2019 by cooking at home at least four times weekly and going for a run twice weekly.”
- Focus on the habits over the outcome. You may want to increase your lean muscle, but you’ll get there by changing your habits. Focus on the adaptations you’ll make to your fitness routine and eating habits.
- Form compatible resolutions with friends or family. You can resolve to work out or cook together, which will help you both stay more accountable with your resolutions. The social support will help you if you struggle.
- Use technology as a tool to maintain motivation. You can easily set reminders relevant to your resolution on your smartphone. You can also find apps that are relevant to your goals. Want to exercise more without a gym membership? Try apps like Couch to 5k, Nike Training Club, and Daily Yoga. You can also search YouTube for a variety of free fitness videos. Want to be more aware of your eating habits? Try the app MyFitnessPal. Want to cook more? Find a variety of recipes and cooking tutorials online.
In addition, you can set new goals throughout the year. Maybe you found your New Year’s resolution just doesn’t work for your schedule. Maybe you even met your goal earlier than expected and lost motivation to keep going. Self-improvement is a continuous process, so set smaller goals all year to constantly challenge yourself.
Amy Hommes, dietitic intern