As the New Year quickly approaches, many of us ask ourselves one question. What will my New Year’s resolution be?
Then, of course, there’s the question of how we’ll maintain it. At The Becoming Center, exercise physiologists and certified nutritionists encourage members to become their best selves through every season. With New Year’s right around the corner, the pressure to make and achieve new health and fitness goals can feel especially overwhelming.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, eat more greens, or be more mindful when it comes to your health, Anthony Byers, director of The Becoming Center, is here to give you some simple tips for making and keeping all of your New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re looking to reach your health and fitness goals, visit The Becoming Center’s website by clicking here and become your best self, today!
Anthony’s Tips for New Year’s Resolutions
1. Make your resolutions SMART.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound and while it was originally applied to business and management strategies in the 80s, this technique can be applied to any New Year’s resolution.
Let’s use fitness as an example. Rather than making a general New Year’s resolution like exercising more often, make it SMART. “I’m going to exercise twice a week,” is a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound resolution that you can readily maintain throughout the year while tracking your progress along the way.
2. Take one (small) step at a time.
Setting out to change your lifestyle in any way can often feel intimidating. Take small steps first and you’ll gradually progress to achieving your larger goal. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Consumer Research showed that focusing on a small number in relation to one’s goal helped keep individuals more motivated to achieve their desired results.
For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to cut out sugary drinks from your diet completely by the end of next year, don’t try to achieve it all at once. Focus on replacing one sugary drink each week with a glass of water and slowly increase this as time goes on. The gradual progression will help give you a sense of accomplishment and will serve as motivation over a longer period of time.
3. Have a support system ready.
It can often be a challenge to stay on top of your health and fitness goals, especially if you’re doing it alone. Talk to those around you about your New Year’s resolutions and turn to them for support. For those whose resolutions center on fitness, personal trainers along with health professionals can help you reach your goals in a safe and effective manner.
If you’re looking for support along your health and fitness journey, The Becoming Center’s exercise physiologists and certified nutritionists provide personal training programs that give you a wide range of fitness and nutrition plans tailored to your unique needs. With our support, we can help you along the journey to becoming your best self.
4. Understand you will have setbacks, and that’s okay.
Throughout any fitness or health journey, there are likely to be setbacks along the way. In a study conducted by The University of Scranton, researchers followed 200 individuals who made New Year’s resolutions over the course of two years.
Their findings reported that 53 percent of the people who were majorly successful at maintaining their resolutions made at least one mistake throughout those two years. When you’re setting out to achieve your New Year’s goals, be prepared to make mistakes and don’t be too hard on yourself when you do.
5. Have a plan for what you’ll do when setbacks happen.
Since you’ve acknowledged that setbacks will happen, it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll recover when they do. While positive thinking may be one solution and is thought to help in challenging situations, Professor of Psychology at New York University, and author of “Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation,” Gabrielle Oettingen, finds from her studies that a better technique is staying positive while also being realistic.
Dr. Oettingen advises using what she calls the WOOP technique, which stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan. Think about your goal, envision your desired outcome, consider what obstacle will try to derail you, and plan for how you’ll get around it.
Making and keeping your New Year’s resolution can certainly be a challenge. If you’re looking for support, The Becoming Center’s personalized health and fitness programs can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and live well. This New Year, and every year, we encourage you to reach your fitness goals and become your best self.