4 tips to make New Year’s resolutions last
January 1 is the day many of us proclaim as a reset, a fresh start for ourselves. And oftentimes that means a resolution to eat healthier and exercise more. Sure it sounds good on paper. But we all know that once February hits with all of its yummy heart-shaped chocolates and the winter weather continues to drag on, it can be hard to stay motivated.
So set yourself up for success with these tips to maintaining your health and nutrition-focused goals beyond January—for the long term!
Start small and be specific. When you set too lofty or broad of goals, it can feel overwhelming and the “all-or-nothing” mentality can get to you. Instead, narrow your focus to a smaller change, one that you can picture yourself making and maintaining on a regular basis.
For example, resolve to bring your lunch from home three days a week, rather than aiming to pack all of your weekly meals and snacks from home, which might feel overwhelming.
Plan ahead. Set yourself up for success. Nobody ever said making and maintaining a resolution was easy, but by planning and thinking ahead you can make sure you have the resources you need to be successful, within easy reach.
Flip through magazines or search Pinterest for brown-bag ideas and make a grocery store run on the weekend so your pantry and fridge will be stocked and ready for easy lunch-packing during the week. Or pick a lunch for the week and prep several servings of it on Sunday night so you can just grab and go when you are heading out the door during the week.
Seek out support. Don’t go it alone. We are human, and humans are social beings. Let others know about your goals and aspirations so they can offer help and support, especially when you hit a rough patch or feel like you are losing motivation. Not to mention, they might even want to join in on your efforts!
Tell your co-workers about your lunch hour goals and suggest starting a “lunch bunch” group to eat together or organize a noontime potluck where everyone brings a healthy dish to share. If nutrition related goals are on your radar, schedule a free, confidential nutrition consultation.
Be patient with yourself. Everyone knows change doesn’t happen overnight, but sometimes it can feel like it should especially if you fall victim to the comparison trap. To avoid these feelings, don’t compare or judge your progress on the basis of others. Instead, focus on yourself and recognize the small steps and strides you are making—celebrate every victory no matter how trivial it might seem. And if you fall off track, remind yourself why this resolution or goal is important to you and that change and progress take time.
Support Available from Health Promotion and Wellness
Health Promotion and Wellness is here to help! From free nutrition consults and ergonomic assessments to the SEVEN wellness incentive program, we have a variety of programs and services to help support your goals. Health Promotion and Wellness provides wellness information, services, events, and programming to students, faculty, staff, and the Illinois State community. People living, learning, and working in a healthy environment are more likely to reach their highest potential.