Chief of Pediatrics explains how to stick to your resolutions

February 14, 2019 Swedish Blogger

Healthy tips for 2019!

If you're like most of us, the new year represented a chance to start fresh, make positive changes, think about new goals and how to achieve them. But did you know that 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February? 

What are some ways you can make resolutions stick?

Think about the WHY, not just the WHAT. Why do you want to exercise more? Reasons rooted in long-term goals like overall health, ability to do an activity you love, or to be around for your family members will go a lot farther than appearance-related reasons. 

  • Make your goals SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. We use this framework in medicine a lot, but it applies everywhere. Making sure that goals fit these criteria gives you a better chance to work toward them. A general "I'm going to exercise more this year" might not get you that far. "For the next 3 months, I'm going to exercise for at least 30 minutes three times per week," is SMART enough to be achievable.
  • Small lifestyle changes can add up. Taking the stairs, parking far away, getting salad dressing on the side, changing your coffee order are all small things but when we put it all together, they can add up to real outcomes.
  • Tell people! Being accountable to someone other than yourself can increase motivation to follow through. Consider telling friends and family, or posting online what your goals are. 
  • Don’t adopt an all or nothing mentality. No one is perfect, and we should all take things one day at a time.  Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good! If you skip a workout or eat something you’re trying to avoid, realize that you are not defined by your last choice, but instead, your next one.  Get back on track with the next meal, next day, or next workout, and remember that a deviation from plan does not equate to failure.

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