February 24, 2013
By Betty Murray
An estimated 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions every year — weight loss topping the list of resolutions made. Twenty-five percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions break them within the first week of January. Only 64 percent of people will succeed in carrying on with their resolutions through the first month; 46 percent make it through six months before breaking their resolutions and a mere 8 percent of people actually achieve their goal by the end of the year.
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions this year? What’s your plan for maintaining your resolution? Statistics show that people who make explicit resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who do no make explicit resolutions. If you want to be among the few who are able to stick with their resolutions, here are a few tips to sticking with your resolutions.
Start with one change, rather than attempting to overhaul your entire lifestyle at once.What is the one thing you most wish to change? Be aware of how that behavior affects your life, and what emotions or struggles you might encounter along the way.
If it is your goal to eliminate a bad habit or behavior, you must have a healthy behavior to replace it with. For example, if you wish you cut out eating fast food, resolve to eat a healthy meal instead whenever you crave the McDonald’s drive through. There must be some good “reward” for giving up an unhealthy behavior.
Train your brain through the practice of mindfulness. Take a few moments each day to visualize a healthy response to the stimuli that typically result in unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, smoking or drinking.
Be prepared for the feelings of loss that might accompany your change in behaviors. Acknowledge and accept your feelings, and then repeat positive affirmations to yourself, encouraging you to continue on your journey to modify unhealthy behaviors or habits.
Sleep. Being well rested is an essential stress-reducer. The less stressed you are, the less likely you will be to break your resolutions. It’s in the moments of high stress that you’re more likely to reach for that cigarette or bag of chocolates.
For more tips and tricks, check out this Huffington Post article.
The key in keeping your New Year’s Resolutions is in having clear tactics to keeping yourself on track, and getting back on the wagon if you happen to fall off. Know that mistakes happen and be compassionate with yourself. If you have a bad day, don’t give up, simply resolve to try again tomorrow. It’s also helpful to keep a journal of your plan, triggers of unwanted behavior and feelings. Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you along the way. A little bit of accountability can go a long way in successfully reaching your goal.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.