For many of us, January is a time for reflection on the past year and goal setting for the new. The ever-popular new year’s resolutions are snapshots of our best dreams for how we hope to live in the coming year.
We all have things we would like to do better, and a new year’s resolution can be a great way to start new habits that improve our lives. An impressive 55% of all new year’s resolutions aim to improve health, which is really good news!
Yet, while most of us start out strong, it’s all too common for motivation and energy to wane. A full two-thirds of people abandon their resolutions before the second month of the year even begins. We jump into January with enthusiasm but revert to old habits by February.
So, how can you stay on track with your health resolutions?
Finding the right support is key. If you want to create and stick with a new habit, you need to surround yourself with people that help you stay on track. Those who have support are the ones who succeed. Here’s why.
The Science Behind Good Support
Most of us intuitively know that the best things in life are better shared. The same is true when working towards a health goal.
Whether you want to lose 50 pounds, maintain a healthy weight, or eat less junk food, having solid support systems can mean the difference between burning out or succeeding.
You’ve probably experienced this for yourself. When you tell someone else what you hope to accomplish, you add an extra layer of motivation to follow through. It’s one thing to let yourself down and another thing entirely to let down someone rooting for you.
Consider this: If you were running a race, how much harder would you push yourself if someone waited at the finish line shouting encouragement? In the same way, how much more likely are you to get out for a brisk walk if you know your support partner will ask about your daily exercise (or better yet, be outside waiting for you)?
In the same way, having support in the form of a coach, peer group, or family member can help you dig deep when you feel like giving up. People who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off usually share one thing in common—a network of support that kept them on track.
Having a support system increases your commitment to your health goal. It’s like automatically doubling your motivation to keep going.
Strategies To Stay On Track
Achieving your health goals doesn’t happen by chance. It takes effort and commitment to eat right, exercise, and establish quality self-care habits.
If you want 2022 to be all you envision, you need a clear plan and the right support to stay on track.
Try these strategies to turn your resolutions into action.
Find a support person
You need people in your corner to motivate and empower you. Make your first new year’s resolution a goal to enlist a support person to keep you on track. Here are some ideas:
- Recruit a friend with similar goals to be an accountability partner.
- Join a group exercise class or walking club.
- Connect with us at ShiftSetGo to get a personalized plan and your very own health coach to keep you motivated.
- Find an online support group to provide check-ins and encouragement.
Create Clear Goals
One of the key things we do here at ShiftSetGo is to help our clients create health goals that actually work. To do this, goals need to be specific.
The SMART framework is a classic example of this type of goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When creating your new year’s resolutions, it’s not enough to say, “I want to lose 30 pounds.”
Losing 30 pounds is an excellent intention; however, it is too vague. To be successful, you have to get down to the details. Here are a few examples of goals we might help you create instead:
- For the next three months, I will exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week.
- I will follow my ShiftSetGo diet plan 100% of the time for 30 days.
See the difference? These types of goals are specific steps that will get you to your bigger goal of losing weight.
Once you have clear, specific goals, you have a framework to guide you throughout the year. And when you make your goals achievable in a specific time frame, you get to check them off the list and start a new one.
Focus On The Approach, Not Avoidance
Science tells us that you are more likely to achieve a goal that is approach-focused. Simply put, an approach-focused goal is focused on what you will do to achieve the desired result.
Here is what that means—instead of focusing on what you want to avoid, for example, “I will stop snacking on junk food,” you create a goal that emphasizes the action you will take, in this case, “I will have a handful of nuts when I want a snack.”
The idea is to get you thinking positively. Your health journey isn’t about what you can’t do; it’s about all the healthy things you can.
Put It In Writing
Putting your goals down on paper is important if you want to stay on track. Not only should you write down your health goals, but you should also share them with your support group.
Once your goals are in writing, you are more likely to remember to act on them. It can even help to post your goals somewhere you will see them often, such as on your desk or your bathroom mirror.
Visual reminders can be powerful motivators when working towards a goal. Until you put your resolutions in writing, they’re really only nice ideas! Make it official and get them in writing.
Support Can Make All The Difference
No one wants to be another statistic. Just because so many people fall short of their new year’s resolutions doesn’t mean you have to be one of them.
If you want better health, you have to put in the work, but you don’t have to do it alone. Create attainable goals and surround yourself with the kind of people who will help you achieve them. The right support can make all the difference, so why not give yourself the best chance of success right from the beginning.
Find a support network that will challenge and motivate you to stay on track with your new year’s resolution, and let this be the year you change your health for the better!