How to Make Your Resolutions Stick

Ah yes, the annual New Year’s resolutions. It’s estimated that about half of adults make them, yet less than 10% keep them going. At FLUID, we like to promote an active lifestyle that’s both fun and rewarding as the most beneficial way to keep yourself healthy and fit, regardless of a new year. However, if you’re planning on making resolutions for 2018, here are a few very useful tips, adapted from an article from The Conversation:

Be realistic.

  • Begin by making resolutions that you can keep and that are practical.
  • If you want to reduce your alcohol intake because you tend to drink alcohol every day, don’t immediately go all in.
  • Instead, try to cut out alcohol every other day, or have a drink once every three days.
  • Breaking up the long-term goal into more manageable short-term goals can be beneficial and more rewarding.
  • The same principle can be applied to exercise or eating more healthily.

Do one thing at a time.

  • One of the easiest routes to failure is to have too many resolutions.
  • If you want to be more fit and healthier, focus on one thing at a time.
  • Give up drinking. Give up smoking. Join a gym. Eat more healthily. Don’t do them all at once, just choose one and do your best to stick to it.
  • Once you have one thing under control, you can begin a second resolution.

Set SMART goals.

  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound
  • Drinking no more than two units of alcohol every other day for one month is a SMART resolution.
  • Connecting the resolution to a specific goal can also be motivating, for example, dropping a dress size or losing two inches off your waistline in time for your next vacation.

Share your resolution.

  • Letting family and friends know that you have a New Year’s resolution that you really want to keep will act as both a safety barrier and a face-saver.
  • If you really want to cut down on something, real friends won’t put temptation in your way and can help monitor your behavior.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from those around you.

Change your behavior with others.

  • It’s really hard for one partner to change their behavior if the other is still engaged in the same old bad habits.
  • By having the same resolution, the chances of success will improve.

Don’t limit yourself.

  • Changing your behavior, or some aspect of it, doesn’t have to be restricted to the start of the New Year. It can be anytime.

Accept lapses as part of the process.

  • It’s inevitable that when trying to give up something (alcohol, junk food) that there will be lapses.
  • You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving in to your cravings, but accept that it is part of the learning process.
  • Bad habits can take years to become ingrained and there are no quick fixes in making major lifestyle changes.
  • These may be clichés, but we learn by our mistakes and every day is a new day.