How to Stick With Your New Years Resolution
By: Dr. Peggy Malone
I hope that you have enjoyed your holiday feasting and indulging and you are looking forward to making a positive shift in your health and wellness plan for the New Year.
People think about their health and wellness typically 2 times per year:
1) At their birthday: When people are faced with their birthday, they think about getting older which forces them to face their mortality.
2) At the New Year: About half the people will make a New Years Resolution which often has to do with making changes in health and wellness habits. The top 3 resolutions for health are 1) Lose Weight 2) Quit Smoking 3) Exercise More.
Only about 10 percent of the people actually follow through on their resolutions. Most people don’t stick with the new habit through the end of January and some don’t even make it to the end of January 1st!
You see this pattern every year as the gyms fill up in January and then by February, it’s back to just the regulars.
Everyone else says… ”Oh well, I tried, I guess I’ll try again next January”
So if you really want this to be the year when you make a change and you stick with it, there are a few things that you need to do.
1) Find Your ‘WHY’.
You have to dig deep and find the reason WHY you want to make a change in your health and wellness. The more emotional weight your ‘WHY’ has, the more likely you will stick to the new habits leading you toward better health.
For example, you could say I want to lose weight because my doctor said I should.
Well that’s a reason but usually it’s not a good enough reason to get someone to make lasting change.
A better ‘WHY’ would be: I want to lose weight so I can set a good example of health and wellness for my children so they can live long and healthy lives.
What is your ‘WHY’?
2) Imagine when…
Visualize what your life will look like when you have achieved the goals that you have set for yourself. So if you want to lose 20 pounds, imagine what that will feel like, what you will look like in the mirror, how other people will react to you, what clothes you will wear, what your energy level will be like. Your subconscious mind works in pictures, so if you give it visual images of your future with your goal achieved, it will work hard to lead you in that direction.
3) Make a Decision and Take Personal Responsibility
Make a decision that today (or Jan 1st) is the day that you are going change. Your most powerful tool in the process of change is your mind.
So make a decision and then change your mind!
Once you’ve made the decision, realize that no one has more invested in your health and wellness that you do. Not your doctor, not your insurance company, not your government or even your family… you.
Take personal responsibility for your health and wellness and get out of victim mentality.
No matter what your current state of health or illness, you can decide to take control and educate yourself more. You can decide to change your attitude. You can decide to see the situation from a more positive perspective.
4) Get positive and believe you can do it!
How do you talk to yourself? Are you nice when you are talking to yourself? Would you say the things that you think about yourself to another person?
It’s time to change the habit of beating yourself up and thinking negatively into a more positive habit.
‘If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right’ – Henry Ford
5) Set Goals for Yourself and Schedule your Health
Successful people write down their goals, and they use these written goals as road maps to achieve their dreams. You can do this with your health in mind!
Specific, written goals help to clarify an idea; the act of writing is the first step in committing to the idea. It makes it real. It gets it out of your head where it is a thought, a dream, a wish… and makes it more concrete. When it is something tangible outside of your head… your likelihood of success is that much better!!
So write down your goals for health and put them where you can see them every day. Beside your bed, on the mirror or on (or even in) the refrigerator.
Make your commitment to yourself and to your health and wellness just as important as a work meeting, a dentist appointment or your daughter’s piano lesson.
Schedule your meal planning session, your grocery shopping, your exercise sessions etc. If it is on your schedule, you will be more likely to pay attention to it and do it!
6) Get an accountability partner or a coach (or both)
Ultimately you are looking for accountability to self… this takes practice and time.
In the mean time, it’s good to enlist the help of an accountability partner or a wellness coach to help you stay on track with your new health habits.
When you know that you have to ‘report back’ to someone else, you may be more likely to make a healthy choice and stay on track.
By building in these layers of accountability, you will be much more likely to succeed!!
Make 2013 the year that you decide to take control of your health and stick with it!
You can do it and you will do it!
Dr. Peggy Malone is a Chiropractor and an
Athlete who helps other athletes to overcome injury and get back to their sport. Her weekly Television Series 'Living Well" inspires people from all walks of life to take control of their health to be as happy and as healthy as they can be.
A former varsity Basketball and Rugby player, she has since entered the world of endurance athletics where she has completed 2 Ironman Triathlons, 3 Marathons, several Half Marathons and many other Triathlons, Road Races and Off-Road Adventure races of varying distances.
Her own athletic endeavors and injuries have given her valuable insight into working with athletes in her practice for both the care of injuries as well as for the improvement of athletic performance.