Tips for reviving your New Year’s resolution goals
- Start small
- Change one behavior at a time
- Talk about it
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Ask for support
By Lauren Glendenning, Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente
It’s never too late to get back on track.
Anyone who has made New Year’s resolutions knows the struggle to stick to them is real.
About 80 percent of health- and- fitness-related New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February, according to Gold’s Gym research that tracks membership check-ins nationwide. The biggest drop-off in gym attendance happens on Feb. 18, which the gym refers to as “the Fitness Cliff.”
One of the best ways to avoid falling off the cliff is to pursue heart-felt goals, said Dr. Shannon Garton, Family Medicine Physician at Kaiser Permanente Edwards Medical Offices.
“If there is a lack of resolve, it is important to reassess the relevance of the chosen goal,” she said. “It can be hard to maintain motivation if the goal we have chosen is not deeply important to us. On the other hand, if you realize that the resolution you have chosen is relevant to your health, happiness and fulfillment, then there is no time like the present to get back up and try again.”
Resolutions should not only be meaningful, they should also be realistic. Garton said it’s helpful for people to look at previous resolutions that weren’t achieved to ensure the new goal is achievable. Writing down specific goals and specific plans for measuring progress are effective practices. There are many apps and online support groups to help document progress, she said.
“While it is reasonable to start with a broad concept such as, ‘I want to get into shape,’ it is best to then formulate a plan which is a specific, measurable goal that has a time frame,” Garton said. “A more specific goal might be, ‘I want to work out for an hour, four days a week, regularly during the next six months.”
Not staying on track to meet a goal shouldn’t derail the entire process. Even for those who are part of that 80 percent statistic can turn things around anytime, not just on Jan. 1.
Garton suggests sharing goals with those who are trustworthy and supportive in order to gain moral support and be held accountable. And while it’s important to remain resolute, she said those who beat themselves up for a misstep could ultimately sabotage themselves further by giving up completely.
“More often than not there is a waxing and waning of successes,” she said. “It is important to be patient with ourselves. Both success and failure lead to learning how to better succeed in the future.”
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