As you enter the New Year, the holiday feasting has concluded and life returns to normal. Like many people, you may be aghast at how your healthy exercising and eating habits flew out the window over the last month since Thanksgiving. You may be joining the ranks of people setting a New Year’s resolution.
Last year, Huffington Post found that the top New Year’s Resolution was to “Enjoy life to the fullest.” The next two most common resolutions—“Live a healthier lifestyle” and “Lose weight”—have become regulars on Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions lists over the years.
Did you just make a resolution to improve your health through exercise, weight loss, or some other means? If so, this post is for you.
Steps for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolution
Statisticbrain notes that only 8 percent of those who set a New Year’s resolution actually achieve it. Follow these six steps and you just might find that you’re part of the 8 percent:
Step 1. Write down your specific goal. You can’t actually achieve a nebulous goal like “being healthier.” But also give yourself a goal that isn’t overwhelming.
Step 2. Specify the time period for meeting this goal. Don’t make the time period so long that you are taking it too easy, but also don’t make it so short that you’re setting yourself up for the impossible.
Step 3. Detail the actions you must take to take to achieve that goal. Break it down to as detailed a level as possible. Think of it as your technical, how-to guide for meeting the goal.
Step 4. Detail how you’ll track progress. It’s important to check in regularly to see if you’re making strides toward meeting your goal. You can reset if you’re not, but provides that mental pat on the back if you are.
Step 5. State how you’ll know that you met your goal. If you can’t definitively determine that you’ve met your goal, it’s easy to quit trying. Be clear about when and how you’ll determine that you met it.
Step 6. Reward yourself with something related to the goal. Don’t reward yourself with something that undoes your good efforts, but do reward yourself with something that lets you show off the results or have more fun meeting related resolutions.
Putting It into Practice
Here’s an example of applying these steps to meet a general health-related New Year’s resolution to lose weight.
Step 1. Specific goal: Lose 10 pounds
Step 2. Specify time period: 10 weeks
Step 3. Detailed actions for achieving goal:
- Adhere to a 1500 calorie a day diet that includes seven servings of fruits and vegetables and focuses on reducing consumption of carbohydrates and sugary foods
- Run or walk 10,000 steps per day six days a week
Step 4. Track progress:
- Use a nutrition app to track caloric intake and servings of fruits and vegetables
- Use smartphone app to verify running or walking 10,000 steps
- Weigh-in each Saturday morning to verify one pound lost each week
Step 5. Verify meeting goal: After 10 weeks, verify a loss of 10 pounds.
Step 6. Reward. Buy a new, fun fitness tracker.
On to a Fantastic, Healthy 2017
If you simply want to be healthier, New Year’s resolution or not, you can’t go wrong by trying any of the delicious, nutritious recipes for salads and soups posted on All We Eat. For example, prepare these Grated Raw Vegetable Rolls with Dairy-free Dipping Sauce. At only 275 calories a roll, they’re filling, low calorie, and a great source of fiber and vitamin K. Here are some more ideas on low calorie meals under 500 calories!
Have you set a New Year’s Resolution in the past? If so, did you achieve it, and do you have any tips you can share that made it easier to achieve?