Don’t fall off the wagon: How to stick to—or revise—your New Year’s Resolutions

sunset_runnerThis is going to be the year! I’m going to get in shape. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to take more time for me! That’s it — I’m quitting smoking.

Sound familiar? With a new year we always seem to have a sense of renewal— a time to improve ourselves—and a lot of the time it has to do with our health. January is the month of determination. So why is it that a lot of us fall off track by the time February hits?

Making a change or sticking to a goal can be challenging — especially when life’s daily chores or minor setbacks impact our motivation or the amount of time we have to devote to our new aspirations.

But with the right approach that involves making use of existing supports we can better stick to or renew those goals we so confidently announced at that New Year’s Eve Party.

Change doesn’t happen overnight

We live in a world where we expect instant results. Text messaging, information at our finger tips, drive-in service and quick delivery. But when it comes to making an overall life change – instant gratification is not realistic.

If your goal is to lose 10 or 20 pounds—you’re motivation is not going to last very long if you expect results after just a week of exercising.  Your new routine is a long-term commitment.  The secret is to break down your achievements over a longer period of time. By setting realistic weekly or even daily goals we have more of a chance stay on track and not feel defeated when results don’t happen fast enough.

Think of any life change as an investment rather than a quick fix. Like most investments, benefits grow the longer we contribute and stay the course.

Don’t try to do it alone

Stats show we’re more likely to stay motivated when we have a good support network. There are groups in almost every community dedicated to weight loss, exercise and even overcoming addictions. Check your local community resource centre, phone book or even do a search online. Chances are you will discover a network of supporters that understand your struggles, share your goals and offer the right encouragement to succeed. As the old saying goes — there’s strength in numbers—that’s also true when it comes to motivation.

Track your progress

Using tools where you can record your progress and see how far you’ve come is a great motivator. It helps you live in the moment and enjoy the journey while also keeping your eye on the long term prize.

There are a number of tools you can use to set goals, make plans and track your progress. You could start by writing in a health journal or creating a personal spreadsheet. On the technology side, there are hundreds of apps and online sites that can track things like how far you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned or even how changes to your lifestyle are impacting your life expectancy. Most of these are free.

You can also check to see what your group health plan or workplace offers. For example, we provide our customers with free tools including our My Good Health web site and Medavie Mobile to help people manage and take care of their overall health and wellness.

A new year of wellness

healthy_eatingIt’s pretty early on in the New Year. If you’ve found your health and wellness resolutions falling by the wayside—no worries. Making changes to live better does not come with a deadline. Whether you are on track or need a little push – by taking advantage of supports around you and keeping a realistic attitude about goals and timelines— 2014 can still be your year for personal success and a healthier you.

Share your story

Tell us what you think – what was your New Year’s Resolution? Have you stuck with it? What advice can you offer our readers on how to keep motivated? Let us know in the comments section below.

One thought on “Don’t fall off the wagon: How to stick to—or revise—your New Year’s Resolutions

  1. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me lunch because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks
    for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your blog.

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