Resolutions and Creating Health Habits

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As we enter 2017, many of us resolve to make healthier choices for ourselves and our families. Often our New Year's Resolutions might include things like:

  • Lose weight

  • Exercise

  • Save money

  • Spend more time with family

  • Get more sleep

  • Fill in the blank

What happens between January and March? Well, the parking sure gets easier at the gym! A tight work deadline, a sick child, or other unforeseen event, and our well-intentioned plans get derailed. Change isn't easy. We have patterns that have kept us following the paths we're on so we need time to alter our course and we need to create a plan.

Just one resolution

Have one goal and follow through with it. One goal is easier to work on than five all at once. See the success that comes with achieving that particular goal. The mindset shift we have to make to achieve one goal is often enough to make change in other areas of our lives.

Be specific

Instead of "I will work out three times a week," put it on your calendar with more detail. Monday: spin class from 4-5pm; Wednesday: walk on the trail with Jane from 5-6pm; Friday yoga DVD before work. Be realistic. If exercising in the morning is crazy because you need to pack lunches, make breakfast and get the kids off to school, pick another time that makes more sense.

Divide up tasks and set yourself up for success

If your goal is to prepare home-cooked meals but you have to do groceries, put it all away, chop vegetables, and then cook the meal, it's easy to see how eating out would be a very tempting short cut!

Create margin

Schedule your day with enough time so you can play catch with your child in the early evening, prepare a healthy dinner, get to bed on time, or whatever your goal is. It's less stressful that way too.

Accountability

Have a friend join you for that run or gym class. You are less likely to miss it if a friend is expecting you.

Habits take time to form and setbacks are inevitable so most importantly, be patient with yourself. Have a happy and healthy new year.