Here we are, halfway through February, and six weeks since making our new year’s resolutions. How are you doing on yours? According to the New York Times, one third of people who make resolutions don’t even keep them until the end of January. And a full 80 percent of people will drop their resolutions before the end of the year. If you’re still keeping to yours, good for you! And if not, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until 2016 to get healthy, stop smoking, lose weight, get organized or any of the other things that you’ve resolved to do. You can get back on the wagon. Here’s how:
- Modify your perspective. If you’ve been thinking that it’s all or nothing, then you need to change the way you look at a resolution. Your house isn’t going to be perfectly organized from the minute you make your resolution, and it takes a long time to lose weight. If you’ve given up, it could be that you were allowing perfectionism to take charge. Did you make any progress at all toward your goal? Maybe you took several walks, or you finally cleaned out your master bedroom closet. Great! You’re on the right track; all you need to do now is take another small step, and you can consider yourself still working on your resolution.
- Make a plan. If you had a vague goal, then it’s time to go back and make it more specific. A goal to “get healthy,” for example, isn’t specific enough. Make a list of a few healthy habits that you’d like to get into. Resolve to floss your teeth each night, for example. Or to eat a piece of fruit every day with your lunch. Then, make it easy to stick to your plan: Make sure that you buy the fruit that you like when you go grocery shopping. If you are bored with apples, then splurge and buy blueberries, even if they’re out of season. And buy a few boxes of dental floss: one for each bathroom and one for your purse. Now you have no reason to not get to it.
- Remember that it takes 28 days to make a habit. If it’s a very different habit from what you’re used to, then it could take even longer. So if going for a walk every day wasn’t feeling like second nature a few weeks into January and you gave up, don’t despair: You just didn’t do it long enough. Pick up your habit again and know that by the middle of March, you will be very close to doing whatever it is as a matter of course, without even thinking about it!
Making and keeping new year’s resolutions is healthy for you and a great example of stick-to-it-ism to set for your kids.
Did you make new year’s resolutions? How’s it going?