By Sharon Glickman, USDR Contributor
It’s that time of year when so many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions. Yes, it has been only two weeks since the boldly declared resolutions were made, but we’ve now entered the resolution danger zone. Some studies suggest that most resolution makers will only get this far in their annual quests for self-improvement. All of your well-planned and good-intentioned New Year’s resolutions are in danger of being forgotten until next December if you don’t do something now to stop the vicious cycle of making and breaking promises to yourself. Here are a few tips to keep you on track to be a better you in 2012!
Don’t be unrealistic – this is probably the most common mistake that people make every year. You set yourself up for failure when you attempt to achieve too much too soon. Don’t create a list of resolutions because it is unrealistic to expect yourself to achieve so much change all at once. Here’s a good example of how to reframe your ultimate goal to a realistic resolution: Don’t resolve to lose 50 pounds and four pants sizes this year. Instead, aim to lower your blood pressure or blood sugar by x number of points through diet and exercise. Yes, you will lose weight but that won’t be your focus. Your focus will be your health and the weight loss will follow.
Tell other people about your goals – this is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track and it’s a form of peer-pressure. Tell your friends, co-workers and family all about your goals and ask them to help you stick to them. When you are out eating lunch with your friends or business colleagues, you won’t reach for the bread basket or dessert menu if everyone at the table is fully aware of your New Year’s resolution to improve your blood sugar levels!
Reward and don’t punish – it may be tempting to beat yourself up when you break a resolution but don’t do it! If you get so negative about a lapse you can create an emotional whirlwind that may prevent you from getting back on track. Instead, figure out what triggered the lapse and learn from it. Then get back to your self-improvement because there’s a lot of time between now and next December 31! And, when you’ve successfully passed certain self-set milestones don’t forget to reward yourself. (Not with food or drink please – all of us need to break that habit of using food as a reward!)
We all know that it isn’t easy to keep most (if not all) New Year’s resolutions. Why do we think we make them every single year? If it were easy we would never make another one after the age of 25 or so! While it is true that every day brings a new opportunity to make improvements to yourself and your life, we have ritualized January 1 as the day for new beginnings. If you made New Year’s resolutions this year then let me help you keep them! If you didn’t make any, use today as your January 1 and think about how you can be a better you in 2012. If you need some ideas, give me a call because I’m more than happy to help you!