Setting Yourself Up for Success with Your New Year’s Resolutions
Have you set any New Year's resolutions for 2022? Set yourself up for success with these tips from Carly Buehler, health and fitness manager at Cone Health Sagewell Health & Fitness.
When it comes to resolutions, do you recommend starting or stopping habits? Does that make a difference with success?
I would say starting something is a lot a better train of thought to have, because it kind of correlates with a positive train of thought! Just like toddlers all the way up to adulthood, people who are told that they should stop something - what's the first thing that they want to do? They want to do that thing that they're told that they can't do anymore! So if you're trying to set a goal, it's good to find a way to phrase that you want to start eating healthier, start exercising more, instead of saying, 'I'm going to stop eating bad,' for example. Just frame it in a way that can be positive so you are excited to do it."
How important is having a plan for resolutions?
"It's different for every person. Each person might want to create a full bullet list, and someone might just have one plan. But if it's a plan or a template, just something that you can kind of refer back to, I think it is helpful especially when you get started, because it takes 21 days to create a habit. So if you at least have something you can look back on for the initial startup phase, it helps you keep going in the long term. Once it is a habit, then you don't have to stick to it quite as you know strict as you started.
Do you have advice for when we've got a resolution that's going to probably take more than 21 days?
"Yes, and most things do take more than 21 days! But we often tend to tap out in less than 21 days because we get frustrated that we're not making any progress. So number one tip is to make small goals that add up to your big goal. So if you have a end of year goal, maybe do a quarterly check-in, or a monthly check-in that you can again get excited about reaching."
If you've strayed from your original plan, how do you get back on track with a goal?
"That happens very commonly, and that's kind of the point where people will say, 'Hey, I didn't make my goal, I'm not going to finish out from here' -- but it's important to remind yourself of why you set the goal in the first place so that you can get excited again about getting to that end goal. But to get back on track, find a piece that you are most excited for. Maybe you're trying to exercise more and eat healthier, but you're really good at the exercising and the eating healthier is falling a little bit short. It's good to focus in on what you really like to do, and then on the things you're falling short of. You can write yourself daily motivation reminders, you can find an accountability buddy, you can set reminders on your phone -- so there's a lot of different ways, but the most important thing I would say is to not be too hard on yourself if you find that you have to get back on track."
Does there come a time when a certain resolution or goal just isn't working and we need to switch focus?
"It's good to kind of assess where you're at the whole time, but if you are finding that you maybe need to reassess, I would encourage you to maybe on paper write out what your end goal was and write out how far you've come in the meantime, because we often blind ourselves to the progress that we've made. We're thinking that we're not doing anything good."
"So if you're finding yourself at a point where you need to maybe think about reshaping your goal, first make sure that it needs to be done by writing out the success that you've had so far, and maybe you're going to be reminded that you're farther along than you thought you were. And if not, it's okay to completely rewrite a goal because it's specific to you and no one's telling you that you have to do it."