Be Realistic - The Secret Of Success For New Year's Resolutions
It's that time of year again - the time when we take a moment to reflect upon everything in our lives that's going well and those areas that require refocus or course-correction. Whether we want to lose weight, run a marathon or eliminate stress in our lives, it's important to have a plan in place to make our resolutions a reality.
Conventional wisdom tells us that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. However, a recent study conducted by the University College London revealed that the average time frame for participants to embrace a healthy lifestyle change was actually 66 days and some participants required nearly three-quarters of a year for the positive change to feel automatic.
With this in mind, it is important to be realistic when picking your New Year's resolutions. Start small - pick changes that are doable and on the pathway to your overall wellness goal. This will allow you to solidify healthy habits as you embrace your larger goal. For example, if your ultimate goal is lose 15 pounds, try to incorporate these three small changes:
Drink more water. Try to add 8-10 glasses of water to your daily diet. Then, go for the gusto and eliminate all sodas and sugary drinks.
Limit processed foods. There are many options available to stock your refrigerator with fresh, locally-grown produce. Try replacing snacks with a healthy protein (i.e. nuts or low-fat cheese) and fresh fruit or veggies.
Get moving. Find a fitness activity that you enjoy and stick to it. Whether it be BootyBarre, Pilates, walking, running, etc., you are more likely to stick with the program if you are having fun. Carve time out of your schedule and then commit to it. In the beginning, it may just be once or twice a week; and then, you will be able to bump things up with additional workout days.
There's no guarantee that your new healthy habits will feel automatic by the end of January or even mid March. However, with these small changes, you will be well on your way to making permanent positive changes in your life.