There’s something inspiring about the start of a new year that motivates you to promise yourself that you’ll eat better, exercise more, watch less TV — to name just a few of the more common New Year’s resolutions. But when reality (also known as January) sets in, it can be difficult to break less desirable habits and embrace newer, more constructive ones. You’re much more likely to make resolutions stick if you follow these three tips: 1. Ask for support.
If you make your goals known to your spouse, friend or even coworker — someone you know will support you — you’re more likely to reach them. If you feel like you won’t reach your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Whether the goal is to eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking or get more sleep, there’s someone out there who can help. 2. Have S.M.A.R.T. goals.
That is, set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-specific. If you set a vague goal, such as “eat better,” you may find it hard to stick with it. If, on the other hand, you commit to eating a green salad at least five nights a week and eating fruit for dessert every weeknight, you’ll be able to measure your progress simply by keeping a food diary (a worthy pursuit of its own). 3. Cut yourself a break.
Remember that perfection is the enemy of progress. Don’t ever give up. Instead, take a deep breath and make another green salad the next day.