The New Year has become a time of resolutions, making new commitments and letting go of poor habits. It's a time to self-reflect and try again to create a better version of ourselves. We all begin a new year with the best intentions to stay on track, but so many of us have a falling out with our resolutions and eventually settle back into our old routines.
In 2014, the number one New Year's resolution was no surprise: to Lose Weight. Fitness, health and diet top the charts every single year, yet so few of us stick with it. Every January, gym membership sales sky rocket and then almost just as quickly, fall off a cliff.
Avoid the cliff this coming year. Think more deeply and realistically about how you'd like to improve your health and fitness levels. If you aren't someone who enjoys the gym, don't go to one. A gym membership isn't the only gateway to getting fit. And depriving yourself of your favorite food isn't the only way to lose weight. The reason resolutions fail is because we aren't mentally prepared to take on the task at hand and we don't allow ourselves the time to adjust.
For 2015, think simple.
If you're someone who, more than once, has made a health or fitness resolution and failed at it, lower the bar a notch. Instead of buying a gym membership and swearing you'll go every day, try something that you can sustain for life. Maybe a daily walk or jog is the ticket you need to take the steps toward better living.
Following these simple tips can make the pressure of fulfilling your New Year's resolution less of a burden and more of something you can feel excited about.
1. Get into the right mind frame.
Remember: a resolution is finding a solution to a problem. Decide on a solution that you can stick with.
2. Have the right plan.
Choose a resolution that's a good fit for you. Create a list of things you can do to be successful. Remember that in order to reach a large goal, there are many small steps to take to in the process.
3. Celebrate small victories.
If your goal is to lose weight, celebrate every pound you drop in the process by doing something to reward yourself that won't sabotage your weight loss.
4. Think long term.
Every day, many of us choose not to live our best life, yet most resolutions are an attempt at living better in some way. Your resolution is a long term goal and should be treated as one. Many diet and workout plans simply cannot be sustained long term. If you're looking at your resolution and it includes something extreme, think about how long you can realistically stick with it. If it's not for very long, focus on something that's a better fit.
5. Face adversity.
No person is perfect and neither is any plan. You WILL run into roadblocks along the way. Face them and overcome them. Avoidance is the reason we fail at so many things in life. Stay committed to your goal and again, celebrate your small victories.
6. Recruit support.
Finding people who can encourage you will help on the bad days and they'll celebrate along with you on the good days. If exercising more often is your resolution, find friends who'll join you. It's harder to sleep in and skip the workout if you know you have a friend counting on you to show up.
7. Always do your best.
This sounds cliché, but it's all anyone can ask of themselves. What we can accomplish on a good day and what we can accomplish on a bad day are different. Doing your best is subjective to what happens in your life. Celebrate the victories but don't drown in the failures.
Making a resolution isn't confined to the coming year — it can be done anytime. Make the process enjoyable and you'll find yourself looking forward to the commitment rather than dreading it.