Springtime Health Resolutions

Maybe you can identify with some of these: A couple months ago, you made big plans to spend time each day exercising, but that has dwindled to just a workout or two a week. The new athletic shoes you bought are spending more time in your closet than on your feet. And your kitchen contains twice as many snack foods as it does fresh vegetables. 

New Year’s Resolutions are a great thing to make, but if you’re not ready to keep them – or you have not figured out how to make them fit into your life – they can end up being a big source of frustration. You might feel like you failed, even though you never really set yourself up to succeed.  

If that’s the spot you are in, don’t worry. Deciding to make a springtime health resolution can be a great reboot, whether you want to focus on healthy eating, self-care, increasing your exercise level, or getting a handle on your personal finances. Now is the time to take stock of which of those New Year’s goals were important to you, then make a plan to get back on track. 

Spring is a time when days get longer, sunnier and warmer, which gives us a mental boost – and the inspiration to stick with a resolution for the long haul. 

Why a lot of New Year’s resolutions fail. Millions of people time their resolutions to ringing in the new year on January 1. But of those, only about 19% say they are successful, according to Psychology Today. Part of the reason is the trendy timing.  Picking an arbitrary day on the calendar to begin a new routine only works if you’re mentally ready for a change and have a plan in place to follow through with it.   

How to make a spring health resolution stick. If you’re ready to pick up your resolutions that fell by the wayside, or start over completely, you’ve got plenty of time to do that this spring. Once you think it through and decide how you want to begin, pick a day to start that works for you. Here are tips for making the resolution last: 

Don’t overload yourself with resolutions. We all know people who lay out big plans for themselves every New Year’s Eve. They’re going to “get healthy,” lose weight, eat better, make more time for their family and themselves. Whew. That’s a lot of vague change. It’s also a recipe for broken resolutions.  

Be specific with small steps. Let’s try that list again, this time being specific. Because breaking big plans into small, achievable steps is a better way to stick to your resolutions, according to staff at Harvard Medical School. If you’re overweight, set a small weight loss goal to get you started, even if it’s just five pounds. Eating better can be a goal to add three more servings of vegetables or fruit into your day. Time with family might mean penciling in a weekly outing, and “me time” might equal a daily half-hour walk. 

Do a weekly check-in with your resolution. Hold yourself accountable. Set aside a few minutes each week to see how you’re doing. Understand that some weeks you’ll do better than others.  

Reward the wins. Gold stars aren’t just for kids. Everybody needs some applause as they work toward their goals. Small rewards for small successes are a great motivator.  

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Photo credit: Getty
 

 

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