By the second week of the year, 31% of people have already abandoned their resolution and about 80% of people FAIL to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions longer than 6 weeks. So if you have lost the excitement and gotten off track, you’re not alone! WIth a new year, many people are looking to turn over a new leaf, with majority of people choosing a health-related resolution. But turns out, it can be hard to stick to those goals long-term.
Only one-fifth of us gets the recommended amount of physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week) despite the fact that leading a healthier lifestyle can lead to living a longer, more productive life. Many people set goals that are not realistic and quickly become discouraged and quit. For example, if you have a goal to exercise 5 days a week, but are currently exercising zero days, then chances are that’s not going to play out.
Everyone is motivated by success so getting discouraged early on may cause you to quickly abandon your goals. By setting “mini” goals along the way, and working towards them, rather than your big lofty goal, you’re likely to see success right away, keeping you inspired.
Goal Setting 101
- Choose your goal (do it again if you’ve fallen off the wagon)
- Write it down. Statistics show people who write down their goals have over an 80% higher success rate of achieving them.
- Tell someone. Sharing your goals also increases the likelihood of achieving your goal.
- Break your goal down and be specific. Saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds.” is different than saying “I want to lose 20 lbs in the next four months.”
- Have a game plan and write that down too. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs, you could write, “Reduce soda consumption to one can per week.” or “I will workout for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week.” or “I will limit sweets to one time per week.”
- Keep going, even after a setback. Behavior change isn’t a point A to point B journey. There are many bumps and obstacles along the way. Embrace the changes you are making with a positive attitude.
- Celebrate your success! One idea is to put money in a jar each time you reach your goal and rewarding yourself after you reach a “mini” goal. (non-food rewards preferable!)
Be realistic with your goals of losing weight, getting in shape, etc.–it doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving sustainable results is a process, you need to work at it every single day. You didn’t gain weight or acquire bad habits overnight, just like you won’t lose them overnight. Reversing negative behaviors takes time and energy.
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