New Year’s Resolutions: Top Tips for Creating Long-Term Success

A new year naturally lends itself to reflection—a desire to get healthy and a pull towards self-improvement. Taking a look back at 2019, are there things that you would like to change for 2020 in order to reach new goals? Say, for example, that you want to lose weight. New habits that you might consider include getting to the gym at least three times per week, eating more home-cooked meals or reducing your sugar intake. Although goal setting is a great first step, reaching, and more importantly, SUSTAINING these goals is virtually impossible without a realistic, simplistic and actionable approach.

Highlights:

  • It takes an average of 66 days to instill a new habit.
  • Make your New Year’s resolutions a success in 2020 by choosing small, simple action steps.
  • Know your WHY, accomplish your hardest tasks first thing in the morning, set up your environment for success, find accountability partners, make a backup plan, and practice consistency and repetition.
  • To learn more, join us for the “Practical, Not Perfect” Lunch & Learn on January 29 where we’ll share the top 8 habits to a healthier you and practical ways to accomplish each.

Humans are creatures of habit, and considering that we have an upper limit on the amount of energy and brain power available for the day, it makes sense. When you start doing something consistently for a long period of time, a habit forms. A task that once required deliberate effort eventually becomes automatic. This is cognitively efficient because energy no longer needs to be expended on that specific action, and mental resources are freed up for other tasks.

Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, many habits are fleeting. But why? Did you know that it takes an average of 66 days to instill a new habit? This means that if the new habit isn’t practiced for long enough, the odds are against it sticking long-term. Furthermore, if goals are too big and out of reach, the beginning gusto quickly dies and old habits will inevitably return.

Change is hard! It takes time, effort and consistency to create a new norm. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips to creating new routines that will actually stick:

  1. Start small – our motto at Nourished® is “small change leads to big, and more importantly, LASTING, results.” Small actions steps such as drinking a large glass of water first thing in the morning, doing 10 push-ups a day and taking 3 deep breaths are much more approachable than drinking 8-10 cups of water a day, spending 30-45 minutes at the gym and meditating 30 minutes a day. When you accomplish these small wins, you gain the momentum and confidence propelling you to take on more.
  2. Know your WHY – having a clear picture of why you’re setting out to make these changes will keep you motivated even on the toughest of days.
  3. Make it enjoyable – life is too short to waste time doing things that you don’t find fun or enjoyable. If you despise running, don’t set out to run 30 minutes a day just because you want the runner’s body. There are plenty of other ways to stay active, such as dance, rock climbing or walking with a girlfriend, that may be more up your alley. The bottom line is the more enjoyable something is, the more likely you are to continue.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat – until this new habit becomes ingrained, you must find a way to do it every SINGLE day. Keep your bottle of supplements out on the kitchen counter, set alarms, write post-its or whatever you need to do to remember this task. Thankfully, once you do it enough, it will become automated.
  5. Do it in the morning – according to Psychology Today, the average person makes 35,000 decisions in a day; therefore, by the end of a day, your brain is tired and willpower low. If you want to ensure that your healthy habits get accomplished, do them early on.
  6. Set up your environment for success – clear the clutter in your home, work, car, etc., and replace the “junk” with items that correlate with your goals. If you’re trying to cut sugar from your diet, yet keep refilling the cookie jar, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. In this example, you would be much better off tossing trigger foods and instead stocking the fridge and pantry with easily-accessible veggies, fruit, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.
  7. Find your tribe – the people that you spend the most time with have the biggest impact on your habits. Increase accountability, motivation and likelihood of success by surrounding yourself with positive, successful people that have similar goals.

Changing habits isn’t easy, but there are many things that you can do to make your New Year’s resolutions more approachable, enjoyable and even effective. By choosing small, simple action steps, knowing your WHY, accomplishing your hardest tasks first thing in the morning, setting up your environment for success, finding accountability partners, making a backup plan, and practicing consistency and repetition, you’ll be well on your way to success! To learn more, join us for the “Practical, Not Perfect” Lunch & Learn on January 29. During this class, we’ll share the top 8 habits to a healthier you, and practical ways to accomplish each. We hope to see you there!

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