Start the New Year healthy. Maybe you’re someone who wants to eat healthier or lose weight. Or, maybe your goal is to get out of the house more or get more sleep.
According to Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., while most people wait until January 1st to set a goal doesn’t mean it’s the perfect day to do it.
According to a study conducted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 9.2% of people achieved their New Year’s resolution. In addition, 42.2% of people who assume they will fail at achieving their goals actually reach them. However, there is some hope when it comes to achieving your resolution in the coming New Year.
Why is the New Year the Best Time to Get Healthier?
It’s great to have goals. It’s even better to achieve them. Sometimes waiting until January to get a head start on those goals may not always be the right idea since you set yourself up for failure. According to a study at the University of Scranton, an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t set New Year’s resolutions for this reason alone.
Of course, that doesn’t stop some people from motivating themselves to get healthier by the New Year.
The reason why the New Year is the best time to get healthier is because it’s an exciting year that’s filled with hope and possibility. It’s the start of new beginnings. Make the New Year an opportunity to improve your health and well-being.
While it’s easier to create new resolutions, sticking to them is another story. Here are some ways you can start the new year healthy.
Make a New Year’s Resolution the Right Way
The best way to set a New Year’s resolution is to break it up into smaller goals. Maybe you’re thinking of living a healthier lifestyle. That’s a great goal but setting a large goal that’s too big to achieve can set yourself up for failure. The best thing to do is to set one small goal at a time.
Then take a good look at your goal. Find out the level of commitment it takes to achieve that goal, and determine if you’re able to achieve it, according to Larry Kubiak, Ph.D. For example, can you really live without sugar? Sugar withdrawals can lead to problems such as headaches.
Instead, limit yourself to eating candies and sweets a few times a week can be much more achievable.
Tip #1: Reward Yourself
If you’re just focused on achieving that one goal, then it’s easy to get discouraged when you get off-track before the one-month mark. That’s why it’s important to celebrate small successes and reward yourself every so often. Instead of pushing yourself to lose 20 pounds, celebrate every time you lose 2 pounds.
If your goal is to run a 5K marathon, don’t wait until the finish line to reward yourself. After each half marathon, reward yourself by reading your favorite book, listening to your favorite band, or spending a night out with friends. A journal can help you be aware of these small milestones and stay motivated along the way, even in difficult times.
Tip #2: Be Patient with Yourself
It’s also important to be patient with yourself along the way. If you get off track, know that you’re not alone. Seventy-five percent of people make a mistake within the first two months of setting a resolution, according to John Norcross, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at the University of Scranton. What’s important is how you handle those slip-ups.
Instead of beating yourself up over your misstep, acknowledge your mistakes but get back on track. Rather than focusing on the negative, figure out solutions to prevent those slip ups from happening. One small slip up shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your goal. Be patient with yourself and realize that success doesn’t happen overnight.
Tip #3: Avoid All-or-Nothing Thinking
According to Very Well Mind, all-or-nothing thinking is a negative thought pattern that causes anxiety, depression, or panic disorder. When you have all-or-nothing thinking, you see things in extremes. All-or-nothing thinking is often known as black-or-white thinking. This leaves very little room for the gray area, or the in-between.
At least replace your negative thoughts with more realistic ones. Here are some other ways that you can change your all-or-nothing thinking:
- See the positive side to your situation.
- Ask yourself if there’s a gray area.
- Avoid using terms such as “ever” or “never.”
- If you still only see the negative side to your situation, seek the help of a trusted group of people. Sometimes family and friends can provide that support. Other times, a support group can also help you find alternatives solutions and think in new ways.