by Kellin O’Rourke
The turkeys were stuffed…and, in turn, our bellies were too. Visions of sugar plums danced in our heads…and then straight into our mouths! Now the time has come for us to revive our lives and revitalize our health. The New Year is here and may it bring with it blessing, joy, and resolution success!
Better than 60% of individuals stick to their resolutions for more than two months, so the chances of you doing the same are definitely in your favor. But if you are one who hasn’t had such luck in the past and are left with little hope for future resolutions, there are a few simple tips that can help you truly stick to those New Year’s resolutions.
Set reasonable, attainable goals. The most common mistake made in setting resolutions is both simple and simply preventable: expecting too much in too little time. Resolving to look like a model may not be achievable for most of us, but resolving to add physical activity to our daily lives is very possible. Is it going to take only a month? Maybe…for a select few; for us others, it could take twice or even three times as long. The important thing to consider is this: regardless of how long it takes you or “super-fat-burning-Susie” to reach a goal, we all work towards a goal the same way—one day at a time!
Make your resolutions worthwhile! While you don’t want to set your sights beyond your grasp, you also shouldn’t underestimate your potential for the New You in the New Year. If your goals aren’t challenging, they are neither worth making nor worth working towards. Resolutions should challenge us to try something new and move outside our comfort zone, not simply help us maintain the status quo. Another little tip: avoid choosing a resolution that has proven to be less-than-successful for you in the past; this will only set yourself up for failure, frustration, and disappointment.
Write them down. Until written down, goals are only dreams and aspirations. Studies throughout the year have demonstrated that a person is more likely to achieve a goal that is written down rather than floating through our thoughts. The simple act of writing your goals not only solidifies your desires, but it also helps to lodge your resolutions in your memory while also holding you accountable to your thoughts.
Designate a resolution buddy. For most, the accountability of a written goal is not enough to ensure our success. That is why it is important to enlist the trust and help of a friend who can serve as a guardrail to keep you on track with your New Year’s resolutions. Design your game plan and make an agreement with your resolution buddy ahead of time—and remember to always be open to his or her guidance and to never get angry when they hold you accountable.
Call-in the support troops! A positive mental attitude is crucial for success; in both yourself and those you surround yourself with. Positive people and a positive environment encourage you to achieve the New You while maintaining a hopeful attitude.
Don’t dwell in the past…live in the now and look towards the future! Quite simply stated! Let go of the past and reach toward the possibilities this year (and every New Year) may bring!
Kellin O’Rourke is owner and president of FitKO Health in Rockford, Michigan and an independent contractor with Allegro Coaching in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She currently serves as Wellness Specialist for Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.