It’s mid-June, and we’re approaching summer! I was just thinking…now would be a great time to check on those New Year Resolutions. You know, the ones we made around 6 months ago?
Here are some resolutions I heard from friends and relatives during the holidays:
==> “I’m going to lose 25 pounds by eating healthy & exercising every day!”
==> “I can’t wait to start eating healthier. I’m going to fill my refrigerator with healthy food and snacks!”
==> “This is the year I am going to STOP smoking!”
==> “I am finally going to find a job that I love!”
==> “I’m going to be more organized. In fact, I’m cleaning ALL the clutter in my garage in January!”
Now, those are all great resolutions, right? In fact, “Exercising More”, “Losing Weight”, and “Eating Healthy” were the TOP 3 Most Popular 2017 Resolutions.
Right before the New Year started, we felt excited, we were motivated…and why not? It was time things changed for the better, right?!
The Big Question: Why Do 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
According to research, it takes approximately 60 days (not 21 days, as most people think) for a person to form a long-term habit. Many of us don’t stick to our resolutions because we are unable to motivate ourselves to keep going. We get frustrated when we don’t see immediate results. Sadly, instant gratification has defined our culture. Let’s take a look at some of these resolutions:
RESOLUTION #1: EXERCISE REGULARLY
If you haven’t exercised in a long time, and your goal is to get in shape, don’t overwhelm your body by exercising every day. Set a realistic goal. Take baby steps…exercise twice a week for 30 minutes the first few weeks. When your body gets used to it, increase the duration to 45 minutes, and then to 1 hour. Eventually, increase the frequency to 3x a week, etc. Monitor your progress regularly by keeping records of your goals and achievements. Don’t obsess so much on how much weight you’ve lost. Instead, focus more on how your clothes fit better. Also, focus on how you feel. Regular exercise relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood!
RESOLUTION #2: EAT HEALTHIER
If your goal is to eat healthier, don’t overdo it by eating spinach all day, every day. That will get old real fast…you’ll feel deprived, and eventually you’ll give up. Instead, take small steps. For starters, you can eat a small salad right before eating an entrée. Also, you can swap your snacks with something healthier: eat cut-up fruits & vegetables during your break instead of the usual potato chips & pastries. You’ll feel the difference in your body when you incorporate these little things in your diet. Eating more whole grains vs white carbohydrates can be your next step in healthy eating. Record your meals in a journal, and record your progress. It’s important to document how you feel (your energy level, your mood), and also how you look (do your jeans fit better?). You will feel better and look better!
RESOLUTION #3: GET ORGANIZED
So maybe you have a ton of important papers that you’ve stashed away in boxes. Perhaps, you shoved them all in your closet or in your garage? Okay, so you now have 10 boxes to sort through. Your intention was to sort them all out when you found the time. It’s an overwhelming project. Instead of pressuring yourself to get it all done in one day or one weekend, consider tackling the project in phases. It may take you longer to complete the task, but you will get it done without the physical and emotional stress. And when the project is finally completed, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment!
Don’t expect instant gratification. As with any goal, taking baby steps is always the key. It keeps us motivated, plus, the likelihood of sticking to our resolutions will be much higher. The best part is: you will notice significant improvements in your health and well-being.
About the author:
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez founded The Wellness Institute in 2013. The company provides Corporate Wellness Seminars, Individual Whole Health Assessments, Holistic Wellness Programs and Organizational Consulting. Prior to founding the company, she worked & consulted in the insurance industry for over 17 years. She also founded Wellness-Spring, a holistic health & wellness store. For more information, please visit out website: www.the-wellness-institute.com