Should you try to make New Year’s goals this year, or should you just give up on that tradition? Like Christmas presents of years’ past, we often forget the promises we made to ourselves that we didn’t follow through.
Change is difficult! Going from eating many forbidden foods during the holidays to suddenly having only clean food can be a challenge that even the most iron-willed of us cannot sustain.
Luckily, there’s an in between. Here’s how to sneak health into 2014 without feeling that the New Year is no fun:
1. In any change, there has to be room for you. If you’re revamping your diet and exercise routine to fit another person’s definition of wellness, this is a decent start. However, it’s not a great way to finish! This is probably why only 12% of New Year’s resolutions actually achieve their goal. Make yourself the 12%: take into account your cravings, how much time you actually have to exercise, and how much leeway you’ll allow yourself.
2. Men and women are different here too. A study showed that men were more likely to succeed with their resolutions when they engaged in setting a specific goal rather than a general goal (such as “lose a pound a week” rather than just “lose weight”). Women were more successful when they told their friends and family about their intentions.
3. Plan for the exhausted days. You may be able to conquer the world and be very strict with yourself the first few days of January. But be real – the year will progress and cold winter days will leave your bed looking even more comfortable than usual. Remember how you feel on these days and realistically plan your workouts and meals accordingly. For example, it may make sense to prep food on the weekend, or move your workouts to lunch.
4. Rather than giving up everything you love, simply try less. If you love chocolate and French fries and burgers, it probably isn’t best to have all of them, all the time. But if you hate Mondays, make it your day to have one of your favorite treats so that you have something to look forward to. Also try healthy versions of your favourite comfort foods to see if you can have them more often.
5. Encourage yourself. New Year’s goals sometimes feel big because a year is big. Write a weekly reminder on your phone to mentally check in with yourself. Review the week and adjust accordingly. Every month, give yourself a small treat, from a pedicure to a new tea, to celebrate your long-term commitment. You deserve your own applause! This has been proven to be much more successful than focusing on setbacks.
Another one of our 2014 wellness predictions? You, stickin' to your wellness goals.