Fuel Your Body
Sticking to your healthy resolutions
By Joanna Gertler| January 14, 2011
Photo by Urban Woodswalker via Flickr (cc)
In a recent Ipsos Reid survey carried out for SunLife Financial, three-quarters of Canadians indicated they are resolving to improve something about themselves in the new year, yet find it challenging to stay motivated and on-track.
According to the survey, “health-based resolutions are by far the most popular with over two-thirds of those making resolutions (74 per cent) stating they resolve to either increase exercise or lose weight in 2011. Eating healthier (31 per cent) rounded out the top three choices.”
So, to help all those who want to make resolutions and stick to them, here are a few tips you may want to try:
- Don't ditch the idea of setting resolutions just because you’ve broken them in the past. Readjust the type and number of goals you're setting for yourself and make them achievable.
- Do be realistic. Intending to stop all your unhealthy habits at the same time might be unrealistic. Pick a safe, attainable goal with a realistic time frame. For example, if your resolution is to eat healthier, begin by eliminating one unhealthy food from your diet at a time, not ALL unhealthy foods.
- Don't make too many resolutions. There's no rule that you have to cover all areas you'd like to change in your resolutions. Pick one or two themes - healthy eating, smoking cessation, fitness improvement, or one or two others that are most important to you, and set reachable goals within these areas.
- Don't set resolutions whose success is based upon factors beyond your control. Saying "I resolve to run the New York City Marathon in November” depends on whether or not your name is pulled in the lottery for that marathon. Instead, why not make running a marathon during the year your goal and that way, the success of your resolution is entirely within your control.
- Do plan intermediate goals if it helps you maintain control. Decide where you'd like to be in three or six months, and check yourself then. Achieving these smaller goals also gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation for the bigger projects.
- Do use the buddy system. Rely on your friends to support you in your resolutions, and do the same for your friends. Social support can be a great strengthener of motivation.
- Do plan a reward for yourself when the resolutions - or intermediate goals - are met. This can be a compelling motivator and worthy of celebration!