5 Ways to Maintain Your New Year’s Resolutions
It is important to remember that the New Year should not serve as a milestone for radical, but progressive changes. It is the perfect time for all of us to reflect on our behavior from the previous year and to promise ourselves to make some positive changes in our lifestyle.
“Setting small, achievable goals throughout the year, rather than a single, overly demanding one on January 1, can help you progressively reach your goals,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “It’s not the dimension of change that matters, but recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working in that direction, one step at a time.”
By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance of maintaining them in the long term and succeeding with them, thus incorporating healthier behavior into our daily lives.
Start with small goals
Set resolutions you feel you can keep. If for example your goal is to start exercising regularly, mark your calendar three or four days a week to go to the gym (or even a little less if necessary) instead of seven. If you want to start eating healthier and more balanced, try for example replacing a dessert with something sweet that you also enjoy, such as fruit with yogurt or a 2 squares of dark chocolate, instead of radically changing your diet to something totally dark.
Change one behavior at a time
Unhealthy behaviors are quick to acquire over time. Changing them to healthy behaviors requires a good deal of patience and time. Don’t get hissed and interpret these small changes as improvements in your lifestyle. Works each behavior change at a time. Persistence and balance!
Talk about your goals
Share your experiences and achievements with family and friends. It is always good to feel that we have the support of our “clan” when we are in demand to reach a certain goal. Also consider joining a “support group” to achieve your goals, such as signing up for a group class at your gym to motivate you to exercise more, or if your goal is to stop smoking , join a group of co-workers with the same focus. Having someone to share your struggles and successes makes your journey easier and more motivating and less intimidating.
Don’t scold yourself too much
Ask for help if necessary
Accepting the help of those who care about us and listening to them reinforces our resilience and ability to manage the stress that any goal we may have set ourselves may be causing. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to achieve certain goals alone, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are trained exclusively to work and to realize the connection between our mind and our body. They can share strategies on how to adjust our goals to make them more attainable as well as help us change some inappropriate behaviors and emotional issues that may be blocking us.
The path of moving to something better is always a difficult but not impossible path. It requires adaptive power on our part, willpower and above all a lot of patience. We would say that patience may be variable but important in this equation. Live your life calmly and you will see that in time you will reap the rewards of your work!