We are officially over 3 weeks into the new year and I am already beginning to see the influx crowd of New Year’s gym goers begin to dwindle. So what gives? Why is it so hard to stick to our New Year’s resolutions??
When it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions, most people often go big or go home. We tell ourselves that this will be the year that we stop eating sugar, or pick up a new hobby, or commit to running at least a mile every day.
When it comes to setting these all-or-nothing goals we are often just setting ourselves up for failure. Setting overly ambitious (and extremely restrictive) goals ― like running a mile every day when you haven’t laced up a pair of sneakers in months ― is one major cause of failure. While we initially feel inspired to tackle these newly set goals, the energy quickly fades when we realize how difficult they actually are to keep.
Small incremental changes may not feel as if they are giving you the biggest bang for your buck, BUT in reality they have a much greater chance of creating real change for a lifetime. When resolutions are too ambitious, we often struggle to change our habits and ultimately give up altogether. The National Institutes of Health says you’re more likely to stick to a new change in your daily routine if you take one small step at a time — so why not break down your Get Healthy New Year’s Resolutions into small pieces of positive actions you can do every day?
Love to snack? Try snacking on something a bit healthier like carrots and hummus instead of oreos.
How about time management? Instead of committing to an hour a day at the gym, make 30 minutes your goal. Reducing the length of your workout makes it less intimidating to complete.
Giving up a particular food? How about deciding to only indulge once a week or just cut your portion size in half.
Looking to drop a few pounds? Why not start with taking the stairs to you apartment or office instead of the elevator?
While it might seem like a slow way to start, these small incremental changes will make it easier to stick to new habits and increase the likelihood of long term success.