Make Life-changing Resolutions a Reality
Dr. Larry Kubiak
Many of my healthy habits -- like working out at the gym three times a week and eating a balanced breakfast -- actually started out as new year’s resolutions. I set one every year, and my track record over the last decade has been 10 for 10. But I found that the second week of January is the hardest to get through. It’s easy to drop the ball because your initial enthusiasm for making the change starts to fade, and you might not yet have seen positive results to motivate you.
So how can you help yourself stick with it? Use my tried-and-true tips for making your life-changing resolutions a lasting reality.
Do keep your eye on the prize
Daydream about how you will look and feel when you meet your goal. For instance, if your resolution is to do strength-training exercises twice a week, envision your toned arms in a tank top. Suppose you want to stop smoking: Picture yourself with whiter teeth and clear lungs. Studies show that positive imagery helps keep you motivated.
Don’t be so secretive
Share your resolution with family and friends. Heck, even post it on Facebook. Why tell the world? It’s much easier to give up on a private goal than a public one. Plus, the more people who know what you’re trying to do, the more encouragement you’ll get.
Do allow for tweaks
Now that you’ve got two weeks of this resolution under your belt, feel free to make adjustments. After all, something that you didn’t anticipate may happen. Let’s say you’re really sore after working out for a whole hour. It’s better to put in shorter sessions than to give up exercise altogether.
Don’t get depressed about a slipup
Stuff happens. Rather than beat yourself up about what you didn’t do right one day, focus on the next. It could take a few months for your new behavior to become a habit. In the meantime, there are going to be some bad days. Just try your best.
Do build on your success
After you make one resolution stick, you’ll have so much more confidence for your next challenge. Set another one soon: Once you get going, the sky’s the limit!
Dr. Larry Kubiak is a psychologist and director of psychological services at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital
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