Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 27-01-2014
Now that the ball drops and champagne pops are distant memories and with the first month of the New Year now behind us, you may find yourself struggling to stick to your resolutions. The first thing you should know is that it’s okay. Most people find themselves struggling after the first few weeks – so you’re not alone. The good news is that, if you are struggling or even if you’ve relapsed, there’s still reason to hope. The fact is that when it comes to achieving New Year’s resolutions, having the right approach can make all the difference. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you keep going or even get back on track: SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS: Resolving to lose weight or to exercise more frequently is certainly very worthwhile. However, the problem with resolutions like these, and the reason people often end up breaking them, is that they’re not specific enough. If your goals are similarly vague, consider revising them so that they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely/Tangible). Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight”, try “I’m going to lose 25lbs by June 1st.” This way, you’ll know exactly where you’re going and be able to track your progress – which is very important for building and maintaining momentum. BREAK IT DOWN: While resolving to lose 25 pounds by June 1st, for example, is definitely a specific goal, it can also be intimidating. However, losing half a pound a week can be much easier to digest psychologically (pardon the pun). If you’ve been focused on the totality of your goal, breaking it down can make it easier for you to track your progress, make adjustments as needed and enjoy a series of successes along the way. This can make a big difference when it comes to staying motivated. SHARE YOUR GOALS: Having a strong support system is critical for keeping you motivated and on track. Explain your goals to your close friends or family and ask for their help in achieving them. You should also try the buddy system and/or consider joining a support group - social media can be great for this (check us our on Facebook & Twitter). For health & fitness goals, it’s always best to get professional help (provides specific strategies and ensures you don’t end up compromising your health). At the very least, consider keeping a resolution journal, where you can write about your successes and struggles. REMEMBER CHANGE IS A PROCESS: It’s important to remember that it took years to get where you are, so it’s not realistic to expect changes to take place over night. Change is a process. So, focus on changing the necessary behaviours and let the results come in time (you should still track your progress and work towards a target date – just don’t obsess). It’s also important to remember that “ebbs and flows” are a natural part of any change process. If you relapse, don't view it as a failure. See it as part of the process and recommit to staying on track. If you’re keeping a resolution journal, write about when the relapse occurred and what might have caused it. This will help you deal with other potential challenges in the future. If you’re struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time left in 2014 to recommit to your resolutions or modify them as needed. Of course, if your goals are health & fitness related and you feel you might need a little extra support, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to help. Good luck!