4 Steps to a Wellness Resolution Plan
Most of us have done it – make a New Year’s resolution only to let it fall by the wayside a couple of weeks or months later. It’s not that we make a conscious decision to stop; more often it’s that life just gets in the way. So how can you make a resolution that actually sticks and becomes a real lifestyle change?
1. Choose the Right Goal
There are often so many changes that people would like to make that it becomes hard to choose the right New Year’s resolution. Make a list of some options and find the one that motivates you the most. The more motivated you are, the better your chance of success.
2. Be Specific
New Year’s resolutions often fail because the goal is too vague. How often do you hear people say their resolution is to “Eat healthy” or “Exercise” or “Lose weight” or “Save money”? Unless you define what that means in advance, the resolution is destined to fail.
3. Make It Realistic
A lot of people fail at their New Year’s resolution because it’s too lofty of a goal. It’s unrealistic to go from being a couch potato to working out for an hour 7 days a week. If you aren’t exercising at all, start by scheduling walking breaks in your day at work, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. If your goal is to improve your diet, start by cutting out one bad thing (soda, for example) or adding in one good thing (an extra serving of fruits or vegetables).
Small changes are easier to sustain and can be a big step towards improving your health. This will help you focus your attention, without being overwhelmed with a 12 month commitment.
4. Put It In Writing
It’s hard to fit one more thing into our already busy lives so it’s easy to see why a New Year’s resolution might fail. To keep your goals from being forgotten, and to hold yourself accountable, make a plan and put it in writing! It's important to break the resolutions up into smaller commitments with specific timelines for each goal.
To help get you started and to inspire your wellness plan, here are a few snippets from my wellness plan:
- January: Record the foods and beverages I eat and drink
- February: Try a new exercise routine, activity or class
- March: Try one new recipe each week
- April: Laugh each day
- May: Join a Couch to 5k program
- June: Commit to one hour of unplugged time each day (no social media, cell phone, television or computer).
- July: Eat at least three servings of vegetables per day
- August: Complete a 5k charity run/walk
- September: Do 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous activity per week
- October: Use measuring cups or a scale to portion control your food
- November: Meditate and/or do yoga for at least 15 minutes each day
- December: Drink at least 6 cups of water each day
Using some of these steps can help you achieve and sustain your New Year’s resolution. Achieving one small goal is a great building block for future successes and can lead to big improvements in your overall health and well-being.