Since this is our first blog post of the New Year, I thought we’d go ahead and dive into the murky water that is people’s New Year’s Resolutions.
If you’re like most people in America (and various other places/cultures, I’m sure), you’ve at least considered making a New Year’s resolution, or you’re currently working towards a goal you set for yourself 4 or so days ago.
And, if again you’re like most of us, those resolutions seem to lose their steam somewhere around mid-January.
So, what then do we do after we’ve, ahem, left our goals behind? Keep paying for a gym membership because we’re too ashamed to go cancel them after a month? Throw out the moldy vegetables we promised ourselves we’d eat? (Yes, throw out all the moldy food in your fridge. Just… always.)
What would we need to do to keep these goals we set to help us become better people? Is there a way to hold on to the practice after the passion dies away?
If nothing else, here’s a few tips you can use to either make good (but sort of late) resolutions, or view and adjust the resolutions you have made:
1. Set reasonable goals.
I don’t know what it is about the first of January, but we all get it into our heads that we can somehow lose 200 pounds, gain an eight-pack overnight, or find some radioactive spider to give us super powers. We aren’t helping ourselves out when we decide we want to fix all of our problems at once.
Maybe, instead of deciding you want to just drop weight, you could decide you’re going to spend more time being active, like going hiking, or riding your bike. Or buying a bike and then riding it.
You don’t have to change all of one problem at once. I promise you’ll get a lot farther if, instead, you decide to start doing things you know counteract said problem.
2. Don’t be vague. Seriously, don’t.
Goals like “be nicer to people” or “make healthier choices” aren’t real goals. They sound more like you read a fortune cookie and decided to take it’s advice.
Make real, attainable goals. Do you think you’re rude to people? Make a list of negative behaviors you’ve noticed yourself doing and decide to tackle those. Are you not making healthy decisions with your life? Sit down and decide one or two healthy practices you could start implementing (bonus points if those decisions could also be catalysts to change other habits in your life).
If you’re making vague resolutions, more than likely it’s because part of you already recognizes what needs to change. All you need to do is sit down and figure out a way to get the rest of you to catch up with this realization and then you can make steps to move forward. Which leads us to:
3. Make practical steps to follow-up on your goal.
Are you trying to lose 20 pounds? Make a running plan for yourself, or use your Google-machine to search for one that works for you. Then look at your diet and see what you need to add or cut out. Get a normal sleep routine.
Now you don’t just have a goal but you have realistic and, more importantly, healthy ways to reach them.
4. Evaluate why you want this.
It doesn’t do any good if you make a resolution for wrong reasons.
If people make fun of you for your body shape, don’t you dare make your resolution to change the way you look because of them. Instead, resolve to find ways to see how beautiful you already are.
It doesn’t matter if you want to change because of public opinion, to impress the opposite sex, or because you think that is what you need to be confident, starting new habits for unhealthy reasons is still unhealthy.
This year, are your resolutions going to make you a happier, healthier person? If the answer truly is no, then re-evaluate.
I know it can be hard to change, and I know it’s even harder when it’s not so close to New Year’s and you don’t have the afterglow of the holidays, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If nothing else, know that we truly and genuinely support you. Trying to be a better person means you’re making the world a better place, and for that, we will continually cheer you on.
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Source URL: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20452233,00.html