New Year’s resolutions are like romantic relationships: They’re easier to start than maintain.
One in four people who makes a New Year’s resolution will drop out within the first seven days, statistics show. About half jump ship within six months.
But there’s hope.
We caught up with Angie Hill, senior exercise physiologist at the Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness, to learn the best ways to strengthen your self-improvement resolve in 2018.
Make it specific and measurable
Setting vague goals such as “I want to lose weight” can be ineffective. Instead, ensure your resolution is quantifiable. If your goal is to shed some pounds, identify the number you’d like to lose within a specified period of time. If your aim is to exercise more in 2017, set a specific objective for the number of hours you’ll work out each week.
Don’t set unrealistic resolutions that will be impossible to keep. If you resolve Cauliflowerto eat healthier by cutting down on desserts, switch to an alternative you enjoy rather than forcing yourself to eat a vegetable you’ve hated since childhood. For example, swap ice cream for Greek yogurt or fruit rather than raw cauliflower sprouts (unless you enjoy them, of course).
Be nice to yourself
Changing habits isn’t easy, so you’re likely to struggle at some point in your journey. Take it easy. Minor bumps are normal. The important part is jumping back on the bandwagon and continuing momentum forward.
Keep it manageable
Keep the scope of your New Year’s resolution practical by working toward changing one or two behaviors at a time.
On the bright side
Stay focused on the benefits of the change you’re making rather than what you’re giving up. Rally your mind around how much better you’ve been feeling instead of lamenting the loss of your daily chocolate-chip muffin.
Lean on others
Use a support network to help stay motivated. Discuss your resolution (and the accompanying struggles) with friends and family members. Consider joining a group with common goals, whether a collection of friends teaming up to quit smoking or an exercise class at the gym.