Are you a list maker? For those of us that are, the resolution-making tradition of the new year can feed our drive to plan, list, organize, and sometimes unfortunately bury ourselves in more tasks. In the past, I’ve been guilty of creating such a long resolution list that I gave up on it by mid-January because the changes just didn’t fit with my schedule. It can be difficult to prioritize the changes we want to make in our lives, so take a little time to reflect before jumping in. Simplify your New Year’s resolutions to avoid getting overwhelmed.
You may already have a picture in mind of your ideal self for this year. Remember that major life changes take time. Depending on the other responsibilities that you have, it may not be realistic to suddenly devote an extra two-hour block each day to cooking and working out. All too often we start out strong in January and fizzle by the end of February (if we even last that long)! Try these tricks to increase your likelihood of lifelong success:
Pick one or two small changes that you are ready to tackle and you can start right now. Swap your sugary soda for spring water, or start asking for sauces and dressings on the side and then use them sparingly. Once you’ve incorporated these changes into your lifestyle to the point where they are natural habits, then you’re ready to tackle the next change.
Acknowledge the small positive changes you make along the way. Practicing patience will keep you moving toward long-term goals.
You don’t have to give up everything you love in order to work healthy habits into your routine. Not ready to give up your favorite TV show? Don’t skip the commercials. Instead, use them as reminders to get up and move. How many crunches or jumping jacks can you fit in during one commercial break?
Not big on packing lunches? Give this a try: Make healthy dinners more often, and save time, money and calories the next day by packing your lunch from the leftovers. Keep in mind that almost any leftover can go nicely on a bed of spinach or other healthy greens to make an interesting and tasty salad for lunch.
There will be slip ups and challenges along the way, but don’t use these as excuses to give up. Remember that when you encounter a problem, chances are the solution involves loving more, not loving less. Be kind to yourself, celebrate the changes you’ve adopted that have worked, and continue on your path to a healthier you!
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