Did you know that nearly half of all Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution, but only 8% of those people actually achieve them?
If those figures seem a little demoralizing to you, it’s important to remember that making a “resolution” to eliminate unwanted behaviors or begin positive lifestyle changes can take place on any day or at any time of the year. While starting New Year’s resolutions on January 1 can be an effective way to get motivated, the key to sticking with those big goals is by making small improvements throughout the weeks and months ahead.
When you establish realistic steps that need to be taken, you stand a much better chance of changing behaviors and encountering long-term success. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, or change your diet for the better, these five tips will help you stick to those resolutions and create a “new you” for the New Year.
New Year’s Resolution: Start Small!
Set small, clearly defined goals. If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your diet, set a goal of packing a salad or container of bite-sized veggies for lunch every day. Monitor your progress. When you can easily accomplish that goal, step it up to the next level.
New Year’s Resolution: Don’t multi-task!
When it comes to tackling those behaviors you want to change, do one thing at a time and track your progress. If you try to stop smoking, give up eating fast food, and hit the gym every night after work, you might have a hard time trying to accomplish it all at once. Instead, start with the one goal you think is most important and focus on attaining success there. Once you’re feeling you’ve made good progress, start incorporating work on the others.
New Year’s Resolution: Share your goals!
It’s important to talk about your goals and experiences with friends and family or a support group. Sharing your successes and struggles with like-minded people, and with those who care about you, is a strong motivator for staying on track with your resolutions.
New Year’s Resolution: It’s OK to have a setback!
Everyone is going to experience missteps and setbacks as they’re working to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. That is completely normal and you simply need to tell yourself that you will get back on track again. Remember, making significant lifestyle changes isn’t always easy and it usually takes time. Be patient and committed to the work that is needed to attain success.
New Year’s Resolution: Schedule your goals!
One of the best ways to make sure you’re allowing adequate time to work on your goals is to schedule them on your calendar – just as you would any important appointment. Schedule your exercise time or time to go grocery shopping for healthy food. Put aside time to make lunches so you won’t be tempted by the drive-through or to try cooking new, healthy meals that you can serve for dinner during the week.
Remember, anything you do to take a positive step toward your New Year’s resolution is better than nothing. On a busy day, you might only have 20 minutes to take a walk instead of an hour at the gym or you might decide to make a salad to go along with the pizza your spouse brings home for dinner. The secret to achieving your goals lies in the ability to develop the patience, skills, and strategies that will help you push through both the easy days and the bad days. When you commit yourself to the five steps we’ve listed above, you’ll be on your way to joining the ranks of those who are celebrating their successes come the end of the year!
If you’re looking to improve your diet and become healthier in 2017, Tommy’s Superfoods can help! We believe that frozen vegetables play an important role in following a healthy diet and that’s why we make the freshest, Non-GMO Project verified vegetable medleys. Visit our recipe blog to get inspired! There, you’ll find dozens of suggestions for delicious, healthy meals. Once you try a few, let us know what you think by posting in the comments or sharing with us on social media. Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!