Make Your Changes Permanent In The New Year
Every new year comes with it a number of people and organizations making resolutions to take and make some positive changes in their behaviors.
Most people make resolutions that involve a change to their diet or add an exercise program, while an organization may work to streamline workflow or other activities. The problem with resolutions is that studies show that almost 80% of resolutions fail.
Most resolutions fail because they typically focus on too large an objective. For example, a typical resolution is “I want to lose weight.”
The problem isn’t the resolution itself, instead it isn’t defined well enough as a target, and there isn’t a plan in place to accomplish the goal.
What’s a better resolution would be “I want to lose weight, I’m planning on running three times a week, and eliminating bad, processed foods as a star.”
When we make smaller immediate tasks, they become easier to do and easier to maintain. The best way to make any change stick is by small actions that are repeated and built upon in time.
Most resolutions revolve around health, and with that in mind, making a positive impact on your health should be a priority. Especially now with all the chaos, we’re dealing with, focusing on your health is the easiest thing to change and the easiest to overlook.
Ways To Make Your Health A Priority
Whether your goal is to make a New Year’s resolution stick or is simply a life-style change you feel the need to make, there are some keys to focus your energy. The best way to make your change permanent is to focus on smaller tasks, find someone to keep you accountable and change your thinking before you can change your behavior.
Focus on smaller tasks: Take your general resolution, i.e., “lose weight,” and define that goal, such as “I want to lose 10 pounds.” Now that your goal is better defined, what are some of the steps that you can take to achieve that goal? Maybe eliminating processed sugary foods from your diet is an excellent first step, while adding a second one step of eating more vegetables and light exercise. Map it out over a few weeks and give yourself some reward after week 1, week 2, etc. It’s this process of incremental change that will make it long-lasting and permanent.
Find an accountability buddy: To make lasting changes in your life, you need someone to hold you to it. Even the most individually motivated people have a coach or partner to hold them to their commitment especially when it’s difficult to follow up, you are no different.
Meditate: To change your behavior,, you need first to change your mindset. One of the best ways to change your mindset is to begin the process known as mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of being calmly aware in the present moment, without worry or judgement. It’s a large part of meditative practices and is easy to do. All you need is a space free of noise and distractions where you can practice breathing and relaxing to achieve a calm, restful mental state.
By achieving a restful, calm state-of-mind, you’re able to push aside any reservations and anxieties about your behavioral change.
Exercise: Even if you plan to have exercise as part of your overall change, it’s crucial to understand why exercise is important. Aside from the health benefits from exercise, adding a routine that includes exercise is an excellent way to make your changes last.
Why? Exercise is a tangible activity that we can feel some accomplishment in the form of fatigue and soreness, while building endurance and strength as the rewards. Additionally, our brains change as we exercise more, releasing more of the neurochemicals that make us happy, sleep better, and have more overall energy.
Nutrition: Along with all the recommendations above, one small area we can make lasting change easily is with our diet and nutrition. By throwing out the high-fat and sugary processed foods and begin to eat more green vegetables and fruit we can make immediate positive changes.
Also adding a daily ritual of taking multivitamins and supplements is an easy-to-do and to maintain habit that also has major health benefits.
Consider supplements such as fish oil and flax seed powder to aid with cholesterol, turmeric for it’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and holy basil to aid in stress-reduction. There are, in fact, a number of great benefits from all-natural foods and supplements and these are just a few to consider.