Whether it’s due to commitment or unrealistic goals, many of us give up on our New Year’s resolutions by February. Despite good intentions, very few stay the course for a whole year –especially when there isn’t a solid plan in place to achieve it. As we reach the end of January, UnitedHealthcare would like to offer the following tips to those who may be needing some extra motivation or guidance in keeping their resolutions on track:
- Focus on one goal at a time – Instead of being overambitious, try sticking to one priority until you feel confident adding another. If you’ve decided to record your diet and start a daily exercise routine, consider focusing on your food journal first. After you’ve developed a reliable tracking system for your meals, begin upping your exercise game
- Set realistic and measurable resolutions – In order to make sure each resolution is attainable, decide how you want to measure your success by using specific times and numbers instead of vague expectations. Instead of a resolution to “have a less stressful morning routine,” make it your goal to get out of bed by 6:45 a.m. each day. Instead of pledging to “move more,” add a brisk, 30-minute walk to your daily routine. Start small, knowing you can always increase your measurable goals
- Make your goals enjoyable – Set resolutions you want to accomplish, not ones you think you should reach. Try to come up with ways to enjoy the time you’ve committed to your goals. For example, if you want to make an effort to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, consider enrolling in a virtual cooking class that features interesting ways to add produce
- Plan for challenges and how you’ll overcome them – Brainstorm a list of things that could get in the way of accomplish your goals and come up with solutions ahead of time. Honesty is key when considering roadblocks and creative solutions. For instance, how can you add purposeful movement around your home or apartment when the weather is bad?
- Stay accountable and get support from friends and family – Strong social support may improve your motivation, mental health and behavior. A strong support system of positive people and advocates may help you reach your goal. Consider asking a family member or friend to work with you on a common goal that will keep both of you accountable.
- Don’t limit yourself to setting resolutions once a year – Revisit your goals throughout the year to help stay on track. Take the time to re-evaluate your efforts and make any adjustments to set yourself up for success—whether it’s to lose weight or just to live a healthier life.