Backsliding on Your Resolutions? Get Back on Track with These Tips

We can’t remember the last time we were so excited to change the calendar year as we were in December. Like many of you, we welcomed the New Year and resolved to change ourselves for the better. If you made a pledge on January first to start a healthy new practice or drop a bad old habit, how is it going?

Chances are some of the enthusiasm you had for your goals is waning a bit now that February is nearly over. That’s normal, and commitments can be difficult to sustain, especially while we are still in the throes of a pandemic. If you need a boost to get back to your healthy goals, follow these tips.

Hit the Reset Button

Sure, they are called “New Years” resolutions, but don’t let that stop you from making “new week” resolutions or even “new day” resolutions. There’s a human tendency to hit the reset button when the calendar changes to a new year, new month, or new week, but any day is a good day to revamp your commitment and start fresh. Why not today?

Focus on Incremental Changes

Want to run a marathon? Start by tackling your first mile, then push yourself to go longer distances. Want to eat healthier? Great! Start by including a fruit with breakfast or swapping your favorite carb at dinner for a vegetable.

Focusing on making incremental, small changes leads to big results over time. Set yourself up for success by re-evaluating your resolutions and looking at ways you can support them with small changes that are more likely to stick.

Clarify Your Goals

Vague resolutions like “exercise more” or “get more sleep” aren’t clear enough to really gauge success. Think about what your resolutions really mean to you — if you want to exercise more, for example, what does that look like? Refine your resolution to be more concrete, like committing to exercise five days a week. Continue thinking it through and add more details to make it even more attainable, like resolving to do cardio for 30 minutes a week before work. Knowing exactly what you are striving for can make you more likely to reach your goals.

Accept Setbacks

Setbacks happen to the best of us, but they can be an opportunity for growth. Why are you backsliding on your resolutions? Is it because they are too lofty and should be more incremental? Is it because they aren’t a priority? How can you make them one? Considering the reasons why you are struggling can open pathways to solutions. And remember, resolving to be being kind and patient with yourself can go a long way toward making permanent changes.

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