Sticking to New Year’s resolutions isn’t always easy, especially when they have to do with changing up your lifestyle and personal wellness — but you don’t have to go it alone. Keep on track with these 7 tips for being your best self in 2016.
Health and well-being are at the top of most resolution lists at the start of the New Year. As we commit to bringing in good habits, and breaking the bad ones, it helps to have a little guidance. So whether you want to stop smoking, reduce stress, or just want to feel good when looking in the mirror, here are 7 useful tips to help keep on track through the New Year.
There’s an App for That
Keeping track of your daily habits is a great way to stay accountable day-to-day to your long-term goals. The University of Texas Health Science Center found that patients were more likely to follow their weight loss plan when using a smartphone app than when using a website or paper diary to track their diets.
The New York Times recommends the goal-tracking apps Strides (iOS) and Goal Tracker (Android) for those looking to record multiple resolutions in one place. For a great calorie-counting solution, check out the MyFitnessPal app for iOS and Android.
Be careful with whom you share your resolutions. In a Ted Talk about accomplishing goals, Derek Sivers cites a century’s worth of research which shows that talking about your ambitions can prevent you from achieving them.
This is because of a psychological effect called social reality (as described here in the Berkeley Science Review), which makes telling your peers that you want to lose 20 pounds, for example, just as satisfying as actually losing that weight. So think twice before spreading the news.
Write It Out
While telling others about your plans might hold you back, clearly articulating your goals to yourself can be a major first step in actually meeting them. University of Scranton researchers found that people who make specific resolutions are 10 times more likely to meet their goals than people who don’t, while NPR reports that “self-authoring” has been shown to narrow achievement gaps in higher education.
Just by writing out their plan to succeed, students were able to do better on tests — so apply that same process to your own goals to overcome your own challenges.
When mapping out your goals, give yourself permission to think on both micro and macro levels. Exercising might help you fit into that old pair of jeans, which is a fine goal in itself, but according to the CDC, physical activity can have even more long-term effects, from improving your well-being to lengthening your lifespan. Remind yourself to think about the big picture when the couch is looking cozier than the treadmill.
Sticking to your resolutions is a process where consistency is key. There will be smaller goals along the way to the ultimate one, like floors in a fancy building leading up to the penthouse suite. When you stop at these intermediate floors, reward yourself with something you like to do separate from your goals.
LifeHacker presents an even more radical thought: rewarding yourself at the start of a difficult task, so that you go into the work with a positive attitude. Either way, you’ll be happy in your efforts — which is what resolutions are all about.
To everything there is a season, and that season may not start on January 1. Is your goal to run a marathon? Sure, you can train some indoors on a treadmill — but immediately logging major mileage outdoors in the cold and snow is probably not a good plan for most people. While the New Year often leaves people with a do or die attitude, timing can make all the difference in whether or not you stay on track to success.
A New Year’s resolution is a journey, not a destination. While that marathon may be in your sights, cut yourself some slack if you only make it a mile or two after a long day at work. In fact, Runner’s World advises following the 10-percent rule: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one to the next. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself from overuse. Not a runner? The rule can still apply anywhere: increase your workload gradually and respect your limits.
To take the best care of yourself on the journey to becoming the best you, having great health care is essential. Thankfully, SingleCare can give you access to the best physicians and great prices, regardless of whether or not you have insurance. With a pay-as-you-go structure with no surprise costs for members and a wide network of health care professionals, you’ll be sure to be at your healthiest on your path to becoming the best version of you.
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