The start of a new year is a great time to make plans to change for the better. But be careful not to set yourself up for a fall with unrealistic resolutions. Is it really possible for you to run a marathon in March? Here are suggestions to help you reach your goals.
- Be realistic. Don’t expect too much too soon – set realistic goals with realistic time frames. If you want to lose weight, make small changes one at a time. Why not start by cutting out a sugary snack between meals, and see if you lose weight?
- Be specific. Instead of telling yourself, “I am going to get fit,” say “I will go for a 30-minute brisk walk after lunch three days a week.” You’re more likely to do it if you’re specific. It helps to make a list of your goals and stick it in a place where you will see it often, such as on the refrigerator.
- Create an action plan. Think about how you’re going to reach each goal and how it will fit into your daily routine. If your evenings are packed with kids’ activities and errands, make time for exercise during your lunch break or before work.
- Reward yourself. All hard work deserves a reward, and it can motivate you to succeed. For example, if you meet your goal of getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, treat yourself to a massage or a new pair of walking shoes.
- Remain flexible.It’s okay to change your resolutions – especially if something’s not working. Don’t be afraid to revise your goal or explore different ways to reach it.
- Think “year-round.” Nothing big gets done in one day, and resolutions are no exception. Try to make one major goal, then break it into small steps to help you reach that goal. For example, if your goal is to eat more fruit and vegetables, your first objective may be to replace your afternoon snack with a piece of fruit.