Keep your New Year's resolution with the help of social media

Sharing your health goals and progress on social media or with friends can help you achieve them.

The new year has begun, and once again, people are making resoultions and goals to better their lives in 2017. About one in three Americans make resolutions, but less than 50 percent stick with them beyond six months. If you’re one of those people who have made a health-related goal this year, you may be wise to talk about it on social media or vocalize about it regularly with friends. A study that came out in 2015 showed that subjects that were trying to lose weight were most successful in meeting their goal if they had more connections on social media. The social media in the study was strictly for the weight-loss program participants, but it seems intuitive that any type of social media, including social settings off-line, could have the same effect. If you have a supportive community around you, you’re more likely to stick with your goal.

Putting your goals, struggles, successes and progress out there in the world can help you stay focused on your goals and follow through. There are also lots of other people in your networks that are trying to reach healthy goals that may be struggling, whom would benefit from sharing with others. Maybe some of your online friends have advice to help you get beyond that tough spot you seem stuck in, or help you out with injury advice or just general encouragement. You may just learn things about your friends that you didn’t know before, or maybe find a new gym buddy that lives nearby and has similar goals as you.

While general social media can be helpful, there are also specific communities available online to help with health-related goals. A simple internet search turns up several free groups and apps that provide social support for health-related goals. So get out there, let everyone know what your doing for your health this year, and be one of those that stick with it for the whole year!

For more healthy ideas for 2017, visit Michigan State University Extension.

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