Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023

Creating Wellness Habits That Last

Did you make New Year’s resolutions?  We’re well into January now, so how’s it going?  It seems most of us don’t keep the resolutions we set with good intention at the beginning of the year. One survey found that 23 percent of people quit their resolutions by the end of the first week. By the end of January, 64 percent have given up. Typically, only around nine percent of people make it the whole year. If you made a resolution, how do you make it last? 

Blount Memorial registered dietitian Angie Tillman says the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and improve overall health. Tillman recommends three strategies to help work toward creating wellness habits that last, so resolutions can become real-life results. These strategies are “The Why,” “Minimum Baseline Mindset” and “A/B Plans.”

“The Why involves thinking about why you are making the resolution, not how you’re going to do it. Instead of immediately joining a gym and starting a six-day-a-week workout routine plus a strict new diet, spend some time really thinking about why losing weight and getting healthier is important. Is it just about fitting into a smaller size or looking better in a swimsuit? Or is it about feeling better and more energetic, preventing or improving certain medical conditions, and increasing your healthy years of life that’s most important? Think through The Why before making a plan,” Tillman said.

The second strategy is to set positive action goals using the “Minimum Baseline Mindset.” This simply means start small. Instead of saying you’re going to work out at the gym six days a week for an hour – especially if you’re new to exercising – set a small, realistic goal of exercising three times a week, or walking during your lunch break. Make it small enough to achieve, but enough to make a difference in your overall goals. Success with small goals will motivate you to reach the larger ones.

Lastly, we all know real life often supersedes best-laid plans. It’s beneficial to have a plan A and a plan B for times when life throws a curveball. “For example, when the baby doesn’t sleep and you’re too tired to work out, the car won’t start and you have to work through lunch instead of getting your walk in, or it becomes a longer day at work than you planned – don’t let that derail your efforts. When plan A doesn’t work, simply implement plan B to continue making progress toward your goals,” Tillman suggests.

“The reality is that what will make you successful in the long term is not the huge, lofty actions that we often want to strive for – it is the small, daily actions that you make consistently over time,” Tillman adds. Implementing these three strategies might just put you on track to make those resolutions a reality this year, as well as improving your life for years to come. 

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