New Year’s Resolutions. Yes…it’s that time of year again. It’s a time to reflect on the past and think about the future. If you’re like most people, you end every year with the best of intentions, vowing to ditch bad habits for better ones.
New Year’s resolutions typically fail just days after we make them.
But data from a study conducted by the University of Scranton and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, points to the fact that most everyone gives up their New Year’s resolutions just days after making them.
In fact, 75 percent of those who make resolutions will only keep them for a week; 71 percent will keep them for 2 weeks; and 64 percent will maintain their resolutions for a month.
The reason the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions fail is a matter of biology. Making a resolution stick requires willpower, and that involves the prefrontal cortex of the brain (the area behind your forehead). But making a resolution, such as dropping 10 pounds, without addressing the behavior, overloads the brain without preparing it for the ultimate goal.
New Year’s resolutions focused on realistic goals work best.
Positive, lasting lifestyle change requires a focus on realistic goals that you can manage and achieve. For example, rather than having a goal to lose weight, consider a goal about achieving and maintaining your healthy weight for the rest of your life.
Here are five New Year’s suggestions to help make sure your 2017 resolutions stick:
- Choose Eat Healthy instead of trying to diet to lose weight. Make eating whole foods a priority. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats instead of processed food. This will help you lose the weight, live healthier and give you a resolution that can become part of your daily life.
- Exercise Daily as part of your routine. Not only will it help you lose or maintain a healthy weight, it will also help you stay younger. Studies show that regular exercise slows the aging process and may be the key to the fountain of youth. Make daily exercise and improving your overall fitness one of your lifestyle objectives for 2017 and do something to promote fitness everyday no matter how big or small.
- Stay Mindful of your health and wellness goals. This is fundamental to achieving them and making those goals a reality. Commit to your healthy New Year’s resolutions and put them in writing. Use CraveMate to help you remember to be mindful and keep those goals front and center throughout 2017.
- Accept Your Imperfections and think long-term. Developing healthy living habits takes time. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail your goal for a day, a week or more. Just get back to it and refocus.
- Cheer your successes. Revel in your daily successes no matter how big or small. Maybe today you skipped the chips at lunch or chose not to drink soda. Share that positive change with a friend or family.
Goals need time to cement and become part of your daily lifestyle.
This year, consider your New Year’s resolutions in the context of measurable goals and give yourself months not weeks to establish them.
And, if you need help setting, remembering and maintaining your goals, consider a mindful thinking app like CraveMate to keep you on track 24/7. It may be the best $.99 investment you can make for achieving and sustaining your healthy weight and fitness goals in 2017 and beyond.