You had the best intentions. You know you want to be more fit. It’s just that the workouts aren’t fitting into your schedule. And your co-workers keep bringing unhealthy—and delicious—snacks into your department. It’s all their fault, really.
That class on leadership looked SO motivational! You want to improve your professional skills so you can advance at work. But the timing just isn’t right. There are so many things packed into your schedule right now, and when you think about it, the class is really just a nice-to-have. You’ll get to it … someday.
If these scenarios sound a little like some of the thoughts in your head as you rationalize away your resolutions, you’re not alone. As we end the first month of 2017, I encourage you to take another look at your New Year’s resolutions and see if there are adjustments you can make to achieve your goals.
Forbes recently published a few tips from Paul Marciano, a psychologist specializing in behavior change. They include:
- Make your goals specific. “Getting in shape” is not specific. Reaching a certain weight or body fat percentage is specific.
- Measure progress. It helps keep you motivated and shows you progress.
- Be patient. Lasting changes happen over time and progress may happen in spurts.
- Share your goals with friends and family. Social support and peer pressure help keep you motivated.
- Schedule it. Can’t find the time? Make the time. Your goals need to be a priority.
- Something is better than nothing. Any effort toward your goal is better than no effort.
- If you slip up, get up. Don’t turn a failure into an excuse to give up. Recommit to your goal and carry on.
As you begin to take another look at your resolutions, ask yourself if each one is realistic. If the goal is not attainable, rework it so you know you can make it happen.
According to a column in Psychology Today, changing your behavior can be challenging, so the next question to ask is, “Do I have too many resolutions?” It can help to focus on one resolution. As mentioned above, make sure it’s specific and realistic. Get used to your new behaviors and thought patterns—be mindful and aware of the changes as they happen. Celebrate your successes as you go, not just at the end when you reach your goal.
If you take a look at the article on Keeping Change Going in our online Health Center, you’ll discover tips to make your change your new normal. Keep asking yourself about your personal reasons for making the change, what kind of person you want to be, and what temptations you need to watch. Read the full article for more tips as well as links to related topics on change.Don’t give up on those New Year’s resolutions just yet! You’ve got this!