It is that time of year again! The gym is filled with those hopeful to lose weight, eat healthier and increase exercise. Many resolutions are made in January to improve your life but unfortunately the average life span of a new years resolution is six weeks. Making lifestyle changes is tough as it requires moving into uncomfortable territory and digging deep for feelings of persistence. Moving a goal into a lifestyle habit is how to keep it a part of your life. Just like brushing your teeth or washing your hands it becomes something you do automatically and don’t try to talk yourself out of (hopefully!). Here are some ways to change your resolutions into more of a habit:
Check yourself! Be sure you are doing this for the right reasons. Are you trying to please a spouse or parent? Is this something you want to do? Do you feel ready? These are questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are doing this to improve yourself and are ready, willing and able right now
Keep a persistence state of mind. Did you miss a day already? That’s ok! Be gentle with yourself and keep moving tomorrow. Don’t allow one setback to totally take you off track.
Start small and gradually build as you find success. Resolutions often don’t work as many people try to go from zero to hundred. They go from not working out to wanting to workout 5 days a week which is a recipe for failure. If your goal is to begin exercise, start by walking 15 minutes twice a week and gradually build up from there.
Find motivational tricks to push you on your worst days. Feeling slow moving? Tell yourself you will just go to the gym for 20 minutes, chances are you will stay longer once you get there. Find motivational quotes and affirmations to read to help inspire and keep you going. Have a reward after you reach your goal like getting a nonfat latte after your workout or watching your new favorite show on Netflix.
Track your workouts! There are some great apps out there that make it easy or keep track on a visual chart you can put on your refrigerator to really see your progress.
Get support. Find others who are also pursuing the same goals as you are and keep communication open so you can learn tips and tricks to help each other
Pick a day each month to review your progress and make necessary adjustments
Be patient! It takes time for something to become a habit. Remind yourself that results are just around the corner and once you start seeing them, this is the greatest motivator of all!
You will have to keep pushing yourself as the year goes on and more challenges come your way which can sidetrack you. Take it day by day and know that you can do this!