Making New Year resolutions a success

Your resolutions have a better chance to stick with these few ideas.

As we put away our holiday decorations and begin to think about what the New Year will bring, we start to think about how we could improve some things about ourselves. Sometimes just putting away the holiday decorations can be an overwhelming task with all the bits and pieces. It is surprising, when you think you have all the decorations put away; there is a small ornament, wall decoration or snowman missed from the first clean up phase. I call it “first” because it seems there is more than one phase.

Holiday clean-up leads to the thought of the New Year and possibly of a new you. We all see the increase in gym memberships and diet programs, this is the time of year to change. After reviewing the past year and choosing a couple of areas desired to improve during the New Year, how can we be successful with goals we have set?

Tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolution

Only start with one resolution instead of going for the entire list right away. Starting small can make the adjustment in your daily life much easier. Trying too many resolutions can be overwhelming and difficult to move in a positive direction for change.

Use a support system. If you have friends and family to help you with your resolution, you will have a better chance of accomplishing what you sent out to do. Exercise classes have people going through the same thought processes you are so they can be a great line of support.

Remember everyday will not be perfect. There’s likely to be slipups along the way, but don’t let it discourage you from continuing to reach toward your goals. If there is a slip up, don’t let it continue, accept that it was only a slip up, and move on. Stay clear from the possible chain reaction of negative thoughts. For example, not exercising one day, so then reaching for the French fries, which leads to ice cream, and now you’re giving up completely.

Schedule the time to commit to your new idea. We have all used the excuse of there not being enough time in the day to do what we’ve set out to do. It really is more likely we didn’t make the time to do what we set out to do. Schedule the time to organize, exercise, making healthy lunches, whatever your goal is, make the time for it.

Remember, something is better than nothing. If you are making small strides forward, at least they are moving in the right direction for your success. Don’t expect you to transform yourself in one day.

Be patient. This goes along with number five, but it is important to be patient and fair to yourself that these changes will come but it may not be an overnight fix. It’s like the old adage, “nothing worthwhile is easy.”

Michigan State University Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute has many programs to help individuals toward positive behavior change. Experts from Michigan State University Extension make it possible to bring communities together and to educate citizens on a healthy lifestyle for a positive behavior change. 

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