We want you to actually achieve your New Year Resolutions this year! Don’t let your health goals fall to the wayside like so many Americans. Did you know that just one week into the New Year, only 77 percent of resolution-makers are still on track?
According to University of Pennsylvania, people lose steam just a few days in. And if you think they get back on track after a few bumps in the road, you are wrong. After six months, only about 40 percent of Americans will still be trying to achieve their resolutions! This means resolutions really don’t work, unless you want them to.
Let’s be honest; it wasn’t like you were hitting the gym seven days a week last month, right? So how on earth is your brain (and body) going to sustain this resolution? Consider making small changes and setting achievable goals. If your goal is to be physically fit, run a marathon, eat clean or start a new adventure, we want you to achieve it! Here are five tips to make your resolutions stick for good!
8 Ways to Achieve Your New Years Resolutions
1) Figure out your why. Want to improve your health, focus, and find energy to play with your kids? What drives you to want to make a change? Make sure you understand why you are making this resolution.
2) Get logic and science on your side. People may advice to try a supplement or to get off gluten, but when our ego gets involved, we often need scientific proof our bodies or brains are in need of this change. Testing your neurotransmitter levels, getting your GI tract tested or checking for a food allergy makes so much of a difference when you are trying to achieve a new goal. When you feel like slipping up or cheating and have scientific evidence that says “my body can’t have this” or “ my brain needs these nutrients to function,” you are more likely to achieve your diet and fitness resolutions. When you give yourself evidence, you allow yourself a concrete explanation why this change is important to your body and mind.
3) Take 5 minutes a day to do something different. If getting in shape is one of your resolutions or goals for the new year, try for five minutes of walking or a YouTube workout video. A lot of the time, five minutes may be all you need to get motivated to start a new habit. For me, organization is a priority this year, so I take five minutes several times a day (and yes I use a timer) to clean up an area or organize something in my life.
4) Reward the small shifts. I literally said, “good job” to myself today after taking my supplements on time. I took a moment to reinforce my new behavior by rewarding myself with a complement and took a few minutes to enjoy my tea. Reward the small things and you’ll be more likely to do them again tomorrow.
5) Try meditation and mindfulness for improved health. Tons of research indicates that this habit can reduce stress, improve focus and help you lose weight. A 2013 study found that adults who were taught the basics of mindful meditation had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It helps your nervous system and adrenals, plus a few mindful minutes can keep you focused on your goals and more motivated.
6) Reboot your energy. If you’re sluggish or tired, you may need to touch base with your doctor or practitioner to make sure your neurotransmitters are functioning optimally. There could be a vitamin D or B deficiency. Before trying anything over-the-counter or extra caffeine to make you more awake, touch base with your practitioner or doctor. It’s very likely there is an adjustment that needs to be made on a medical level. When I found out my lethargy was due to a thyroid imbalance and low serotonin, I was able to fix the problem and my energy. I spent years telling myself it was just me, the stress of work or life, or that I lacked sleep. It was so validating to know it was something that could be fixed with the help of my practitioners.
7) Adjust your sleep cycle. One 2015 U.K. study showed that the main reason people were unable to make a change or keep New Years Resolutions was that they were too tired to focus. When you don’t get enough sleep, your mind and body begin to falter. If you are constantly exhausted, keeping a resolution that needs your mind and body alert and active becomes harder. Instead, work on your sleep cycle in order to have the energy to work on your resolutions.
8) Be accountable (to the right people). Pick people in your life or in your social network who are supportive, who believe in you, or are there to check-in. Let them know what you are working on and ask for support. A girlfriend who is trying to get in shape often calls me after she has hit the gym to tell me what she accomplished. It keeps her motivated and also motivates me to get moving. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are others out there to help you and who can be support in your goals.
Good Luck on you New Years Resolutions and goals for 2016.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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