So you’ve made it to the 8th (or 9th depending on where you are in the world) day of the new year and you’re hanging on to your new years resolution- even if by a thread. You want to continue with that resolution, but you’re finding it hard to do so- don’t give up!
Here are a few tips to keep your healthy new years resolution on track:
1. Get back on the wagon: So what if you haven’t been perfect with your resolution- newsflash- no one is perfect. I cannot stress how important it is for you to get right back on your healthy eating/living wagon each and every time you fall off.
One of the biggest mistakes that people can make when trying to make a healthy lifestyle change is that they give up (and quickly) when the going gets tough and they fall off their plan. Truly, each and every time you fall of and get back on- it will get easier.
As the saying goes- if you fail, try, try again.
2. Adjust your goals: So you started off with a HUGE goal- one that was probably too big- no big deal, make adjustments to it. It’s really important to be flexible and realistic with yourself. Making goals that are too ambitious usually end up with some sort of disappointment- not because you can’t do it (I know you can), but because very large changes can be hard to make all at once.
So take a step back, make the necessary adjustment, don’t be too hard on yourself about it though, and get right back going.
3. Talk to a friend: Having a hard time? Call a friend and tell them about what you’re doing, your struggles with it (if you have any) and why your goal is important for you to achieve. The act of talking through the problem and verbalising the process by which you want to achieve your goal and it’s importance to you can be extremely helpful when it comes to achieving success. Additionally, gaining support from peers is also essential to your success- so start talking.
4. Write it down: Writing your goals down- including why they matter to you can be extremely helpful when it comes to walking yourself through the process of making the change and also to visualizing the change. I always recommend writing down your goals both pre and during the process of making your change. Stay accountable with what you want- it really helps.
Writing can also be a powerful tool for helping you to let things go during the process of lifestyle change.
5. Practice self-love: Self love is so incredibly key not only for helping you achieve success during a major change, but also for overall health and happiness. We can be our own toughest critics, and being critical to ourselves certainly doesn’t help us move forward.
Write down a few activities you absolutely love to do in addition to a few reasons why you think you’re great, and keep them handy. It seems small but during a tough time, whipping out that list can be extremely helpful to getting you back on track- and in the meanwhile can help you to take part in an activity that makes you happy.
To get you started here’s a list of my favorite activities:
- Calling a friend
- Playing with my dogs
- Going for a walk or to the gym
- Trying a new, healthy recipe
6. Breathe: It seems silly, but stress can actually make us hold our breath a little or even a lot. Holding your breath even just a little bit prevents oxygenation to the tissues, but it can also prevent relaxation and in turn cause more stress.
The new year itself can be stressful, and that’s without considering the stress of trying to stick to a new year’s resolution. To keep yourself both calm and healthy make sure you breathe; if you’re feeling stressed take a few, large, deep breaths. To make the breathing even more powerful close your eyes- it’ll help you relax even more.
The best part about taking a few deep breaths? You can do it anywhere- at any point in time.
Tips for taking deep breaths:
- Close your eyes
- Take a deep breath in through your nose (or through your mouth if it’s more comfortable)
- Fill your belly with air- this shouldn’t be a breath that stays only in your chest and in turn causes your shoulders to end up around your ears- fill the belly
- Breathe it out through your mouth and just let it go
If you’re a more experienced meditator or deep-breath-taker, try making your breaths even more powerful by deep-breathing for even longer. It really helps!
7. Make a new resolution: OK, so the resolution you intended on making just wasn’t going to work- it’s ok too. It’s never too late to make a new resolution.
If you’re going to make a new resolution, start by making a list of the things you really want to work on- then set realistic and small goals. Starting slow can really help you to win the race- so don’t overwhelm yourself right from the start.
If you’re making new goals- let the old ones go and move on!