How to Create a Successful Resolution for a Healthy New Year

How to Create a Successful Resolution for a Healthy New Year

Jan 04 2016

How can you improve your odds of success when setting New Year’s Resolutions for 2016?

With the New Year here, you may be among the 40 percent of Americans that resolved to live a healthier life in 2016. New Year’s resolutions run the gamut from weight loss and exercise to smoking and stress. Everyone starts out with great intentions but most of us have failed or given up on our goals within a few months. How can you get off to a healthy start in 2016 and maintain those positive changes all year long?  

Here are a few tips to help you achieve your healthier lifestyle goals.

Set yourself up to succeed

Priority Health - Personal Wellness - Healthy New Year - Successfull Resolution 1Making healthy lifestyle changes can be a challenge. You want to give yourself every advantage you can and that starts with setting realistic goals. A proven goal setting approach to follow is the SMART method, creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This approach works well for diet and exercise goals. Many people make the mistake of setting too lofty of a weight loss goal in too short of a time period and then become disappointed when it doesn’t happen. A more effective option is to set and achieve a series of smaller weight loss goals such as lose 1-2 pounds a week or get to the gym at least 3 times a week. Write down your goals and post them where you will see them daily. Studies show that you are much more likely to achieve a goal if it is committed to paper.

Find your ‘why’

Priority Health - Personal Wellness - Healthy New Year - Successfull Resolution 2Whatever your goal is for improving or maintaining your health, your chances of succeeding improve when you are doing it for the right reason. A person that sets a goal to exercise more in order to enjoy more activities with his children is more likely to succeed than a person who only exercises because his doctor told him to. Intrinsic motivators such as stress relief or energy boosts are usually more powerful than extrinsic rewards such as money. Take time to decide why your goal is important to your quality of life and keep your focus on that throughout the year.

Take advantage of technology

Priority Health - Personal Wellness - Healthy New Year - Successfull Resolution 3There are hundreds of smartphone apps and wearable devices that are designed for nutrition, weight loss, smoking cessation and exercise. Many people find this technology useful as an accountability tool to help them to stay on the right track to accomplish their goals. Besides providing a way to count steps, calories or sleep, these apps and devices often offer daily healthy living tips. Some popular apps include: Myfitnesspal, Lose It, Fooducate, Map My Fitness, Runkeeper and Endomondo. Some of the common wearable devices are: Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, Nike Fuelband and the Apple Watch. Research which one would be the best fit to help you reach your goals.

As you think about changes you want to make in your life, consider making specific healthy living goals rather than resolutions for the upcoming year. Determine why you are setting the goal and utilize technology to help you achieve what is important to you.

And remember that it only takes 21 days to make a habit. Once you’ve made it through January, it should be easier to maintain your progress. Make 2016 your healthiest and happiest year yet!