A recent study by Statista revealed that only 9% of Americans were able to last an entire year without breaking any of their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the majority of people gave up on their resolutions within the first month. However, making a plan to reshape your life is worth the effort.
As adults around the globe gear up to change their habits, many will focus on leading healthier lives. Just like you would make a strategy to invest in your financial future, it’s crucial to put the same level of care into a plan to invest in your health. The small resolutions you make today can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing for years to come. You can beat the odds and stick to your resolutions by following a few simple tips in the new year.
Choose Specific, Attainable Goals
When thinking about the resolutions you’d like to make in 2022, be sure to narrow in on a focused target. Rather than making a broad statement like “I want to exercise more this year,” set a specific goal that you can hold yourself accountable to. As you set this mark, make sure it is realistic and attainable as well. As an example say, “I want to exercise at least once per week.” This is a specific goal that is achievable and can be tracked throughout the year.
Write Down Your Resolutions
By making a list, our resolutions feel concrete and tangible. Some people find it helpful to use a pen and paper to make a list to carry in their wallet, while others keep a digital list on their phone. Jot down small details on how you felt about making the goals and why they are important to you. Leave yourself a note of encouragement you can reflect on. As the months progress into the middle of 2022, this list will help you remember WHY you made these resolutions and act as a permanent guide for extra motivation.
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Track Your Progress
Let’s consider someone who wants to improve upon their diet in the new year. This person had a habit of eating too much fast food and it has impacted their overall wellbeing. They’ve written down a specific, attainable goal: “I only want to eat fast food once per week in 2022.” To follow up on their resolution, they can track their progress on their calendar at home. This person can circle the days that they ate fast food as a visual representation of their actions. For extra motivation, they can keep notes of how much money they’ve saved by not dining out like they used to. As their habits change and their overall health improves, they might start jotting down their weight once a month. Seeing the tangible number of days they’ve cut their fast food choices down to, and a visual amount of dollars saved or pounds lost will help to keep this person on track throughout the year.
Partner Up for Support
One of the best ways to hold ourselves accountable is to have a partner in our resolutions. Whether it’s your spouse, a sibling, or a friend, it helps to have someone to talk to. Share your goals and your progress every week and listen to the progress they are making on their own resolutions. Hearing words of encouragement or having a friendly competition can give an extra boost of motivation when we need it most. Even just knowing that someone else is aware of your resolutions can help keep us focused.
As the weeks go by and you stick to your resolutions, be sure to reward yourself for all that you have achieved. These little gifts should make sense as added motivation while keeping us on track. Someone who has been going to the gym once per week might buy themselves some new running shoes or new headphones. A person who has been learning how to play the guitar might buy themselves concert tickets to see their favorite musician. Be sure to pick rewards that celebrate your progress rather than hinder it.
Give Yourself Grace
Above all, be sure to give yourself grace. No one is perfect, and everyone is prone to mistakes at any given point. If you get sidetracked from your goal one week, forgive yourself and try to get back on track the following week. The key is not to give up at the first sign of a struggle, and instead give yourself compassion and encouragement to keep trying. Studies have shown that the most popular resolutions made every year revolve around health and wellbeing. Now is the time to get started. The small steps that you can take towards improving your health are an investment in your future. The changes that you make today will last beyond 2022 and can set you on the path to a longer, happier life for years to come. You can talk to your doctor about these tips and other steps you can take to start living a healthier life.
This story was created in partnership with Florida Blue. A Florida Blue Medicare Advantage plan includes coverage for many preventive screenings at no extra cost to you when you use a network doctor. Florida Blue’s Medicare Advantage plans offer online tools and resources to support your health and wellbeing, like:
> SilverSneakers® classes on-demand and in-person at participating gyms
> meQuilibrium, for stress management and resilience building
> MyCareDeskTM to help with caregiver support
> Up to $170 in HealthyBlue Rewards for completing eligible health activities
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