10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Health Resolutions Before the Year Ends

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How many times have you decided to become healthier? How many times have you had the urge to be fitter? How many times have you started…and given up?

So many people decide on January 1st that they will become a new person, but most find it extraordinarily hard to commit and follow through on their health resolutions.

Here are 10 tips to help get you to where you want to be:

1 – Know your “Why”

Everybody wants to be thin, or strong, or able to run a marathon. The question is, why? It’s all well and good to say you want to have a lean strong body, but without a purpose, you are unlikely to achieve it.

If your resolution was to “lose weight”, ask yourself why. Do you want to look good? Or do you want to feel better every day, and potentially live a longer life? You’ll soon find you can look good with a change of clothes, better make-up, and an assortment of other things. None of those will allow you to have more energy during the day, live longer, and generally feel better about yourself.

When you figure out what is important to you, you’ll know your why, and you’ll be closer to being committed to achieving your aim. (1)

2 – Be clear on what you want

A lot of resolutions are vague and open to interpretation. You might say, “I want to be healthy” – but what does that mean? Are you planning on starting to exercise? Eat better? Spend a day at a spa? Go hiking in the hills?

Be specific about what you want, for otherwise, you will find it very easy to cheat yourself and not make progress.

3 – Get an accountability partner

Perhaps you’ve decided to go to the gym 3 days a week. The first day was really hard, so if you skip a day, it won’t matter. Then you end up skipping a week, a month, and then you never go back.

By getting an accountability partner, you’ll be motivated to carry on. Your partner doesn’t even have to join you in what you are doing, but they do have to constantly remind you of what you are meant to be doing, and not be afraid to tell you when you aren’t doing it. (2)

4 – Measure everything

There’s a saying often attributed to management expert Peter Drucker: “What gets measured gets managed” – it is intended as a call to business management to pay attention to everything that they do within their business.

However, it applies equally well to your health resolutions. If you are looking to “lose weight”, that’s not quite specific enough. If your resolution is to “lose 20lbs” you can measure it.

The great thing is you will see how close you are to achieving your aim all the way through. Anyone can lose weight – you’re body weight changes by a few pounds up and down throughout the course of the day, naturally. But if you weigh yourself in the same clothes at the same time every day, you’ll see your actual progress.

Worried that the scales will show your weight going the wrong way? Don’t worry at all. Imagine if you didn’t know this was happening – you would just carry on and hope for the best. If the scales are showing there’s a problem, whatever you are doing isn’t working, and you need to change it. Consider it an early warning system!

5 – Baby steps

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t hope to change a lifetime of habits in a day either. If you resolved to quit smoking, how long have you been smoking for? Going cold turkey works for a few people, but not many. If you are overweight, how long did it take you to gain that weight? Might it take you a proportion of that time to lose the weight again?

If you can cut down smoking by one or two a day to begin with, or lose a pound a week if you’re overweight, you stand more chance of sticking with it. The confidence you build from achieving these little goals will help you achieve your bigger goals too.

6 – You are in control, your circumstances are not in control

And your past does not define you. It is so easy to think that you are where you are because this or that happened in your life. Your parents are to blame. Society is to blame.

The only person that can control your decisions and your life is you. Don’t pretend to be a victim of circumstance when you can choose your own path in this world. Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it and choose to be in charge of your own decisions.

7 – Visualise your success

Visualisation is a great tool for achieving your resolutions. Either take a few quiet minutes a day imagining what your life would be like if you’d hit your targets, or build a “vision board” and put it somewhere that you will see it often. All you need is a few pictures of your ideal body, or photos of you when you were happy with the way you looked and felt. Put them on a corkboard, or stick them on your fridge. That slender face looking back at you every time you want to get a snack will remind you of what you’re aiming for. (3)

8 – Get up early

By getting up early and ensuring you have a healthy morning routine, you’ll set yourself up for the day ahead and success. Good things lead to good things, so start the day off well.

9 – Reward yourself

But don’t feed your problem. If your resolution is to go to the gym 3 times a week, and you do it for a month, buy yourself that new pair of shoes. Don’t reward yourself with a meal at your favourite restaurant!

But remember to deny yourself that treat if you don’t hit your targets. The prize at the end should be enough motivation to keep you on course.

10 – Stop procrastinating

Get started. NOW!

You can do this

You can achieve every resolution you set. You just need to have the right attitude, the motivation, and the right people in your life. You’ve got this. Go for it!

 

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References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gary_Latham2/publication/232501090_A_Theory_of_Goal_Setting_Task_Performance/links/57d0e85108ae5f03b489170d/A-Theory-of-Goal-Setting-Task-Performance.pdf

  2. https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/what-beats-a-mentor-an-accountability-partner.html
  3. http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jmkg.75.2.109?code=amma-site