As I sit here planning the perfect outfit to ring in the new year, I realize that I haven’t made any resolutions. Actually, I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in about three years. So, what happened? The reason why I stopped making a resolution is simple: I never stick to it.
Like most well-intentioned people, I start the new year full of hope and enthusiasm for the prospect of making a much-needed change to improve my life. But that hope and enthusiasm quickly fades and I usually give up by the end of January. Apparently, I’m not the only one; only about 12 percent of people succeed in keeping their resolutions.
But this year is different — I am motivated to make a change. Since having a baby last year, I realized that there are a couple of key lifestyle changes that I would like (and need) to make to help me keep up with the demands of my busy life as a working mother.
New Year, New Strategy
At the top of my list for New Year’s resolutions this year are eating healthier and being more active, so that I can have more energy to keep up with my little one. This new year, I plan to become part of the small group of people that successfully achieves their resolutions.
I know that in order to successfully stick to my resolutions, I need to do more than just say that I’m going to change. It’s going to take some real commitment and action on my part.
Unlike previous years, I have created a plan to help me stick to my resolutions. After some research, here’s what I’ve decided to do to ensure that I achieve my goals this year:
- Get specific. According to one study, those who set step-by-step goals are more likely to succeed in achieving their resolutions. So, instead of setting general and vague goals, like losing weight, I am going to make specific resolutions, with tangible, achievable outcomes. Here are some examples of common resolutions (including mine!) and how you can make them more specific.
- Instead of resolving to exercise more, sign up for that fitness class you’ve always wanted to try. Personally, I am committing to going to my workplace gym twice a week at lunch.
- Really commit to healthier eating by signing up for a healthy cooking class. I am going to register for nutrition counseling sessions with a registered dietitian.
- If you’ve resolved to stress less, make it a point to schedule 15 minutes of stretching into your morning routine.
- Want to save money? Write down how much you plan to save and how frequently. You could also have the money direct deposited into a savings account.
- Make one change at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and think that you have to change everything in your life at once. Experts recommend that you make small daily changes, which will eventually become habits. Those habits will become a routine, and eventually that routine will become your lifestyle. So instead, I am going to focus on making one change at a time.
- Share your experiences. According to the American Psychological Association, having someone to share your journey with will make it that much easier and less intimidating. I am going to make it a point to talk to my family and friends about my successes and struggles. A support system is always a good thing!
- Don’t give up! It’s easy to give up when you’ve suffered a setback (the story of my life!), but experts encourage you to always give yourself another chance. If (or when) I backslide, I need to learn to recommit to my goal and move forward with it.
Resolve to Change in the New Year
Now that you’ve seen my plan, wish me luck! I am going to need it to keep up with my baby. A one-year-old kid is a lot faster and craftier than you may think.
Have you made your resolution yet? Got any tips on how to stick to your resolution? Feel free to share them with me. Whatever you resolve to change or even if you don’t make any resolutions, I wish you success and happiness!
Need help sticking with your resolutions?
Want to learn how to make all your meals healthier? If you’re an IBX member, you may be covered for six free annual visits with a registered dietitian. Check to see if your plan covers nutrition counseling. To find a participating registered dietitian, primary care provider, or another network provider, Independence Blue Cross members can search our Provider Finder Tool or call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583) (TTY: 711).
IBX members may also be eligible for reimbursements through our Healthy Lifestyles℠ program for making healthy changes including joining a fitness center, completing an approved weight management program, and joining a tobacco cessation program. For more information, call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583) (TTY: 711).