Steps to Help Your Resolutions Stick

We all know the running gag of sit coms this time of year: resolutions only count for a day. Whether it’s starting a gym routine, trying a new diet, getting our stress levels under control, we all know resolutions are doomed to failure.

Aren’t they?

Well, in a way, yes. Setting one large goal is often setting ourselves up for failure. And lack of specificity can really get us. It’s not to say that getting our physical and mental health under control is completely out of the realm of possibility, but it’s actually a huge change that is usually better handled in small steps. Let’s look at ways we can get our resolutions achieved.

Need a diet change?
That’s a great goal, but it’s also a lot!  It usually involves a complete change to how you grocery shop, cook, and your energy levels throughout the day. All of these things are attainable in time. But you can also approach this in steps.
Maybe for a few weeks, start by just cutting out desserts or between meal snacks for more than 3 days a week. Then progress your dessert to a “once in a while cheat day”.  As this becomes manageable, take a look at altering just one meal a day. Is your workplace lunch where you usually eat fast food? Now for a few weeks start bringing lunch to work until it becomes a habit! Then we can start changing a few dinners a week, and progress that to daily. After that, we’ll tackle breakfast. Little by little can be much easier to manage than all at once! The results may not seem as drastic, but it can then become a sustainable lifestyle change!
The same holds true for exercise!
Jumping into a full routine is a battle between what the body can manage, what our time can manage, and often what our budget can sustain. But there are great home exercise resources out there! Some that you can set for 2-3 days per week as your goal that can be done in just a few minutes. Eventually that will become part of your routine. You can increase the challenge, the days per week, the amount you do outside the home until activity becomes your normal!
Stress is often the hardest part!
There are so many different tools that work at different levels for different people. To be completely honest, one of the best places to start is just getting a good session with a counselor so they can help give you personalized homework that fits your personality and personal stressors! While this pandemic has brought a lot of bad, clinician accessibility through online appointments has gotten so much better. So if stress is your goal, hit the starting line with the best tools you can find!