4 Ways to Stick to your New Years’ Resolutions
Updated: Feb 26, 2019
It’s mid-February, and many of our New Years' Resolutions have settled into the background as we think ahead to spring. Are you feeling like your habits could use a little jumpstart? This past year, two of the most common resolutions were to eat healthier and to get more exercise. If these were your goals for 2019, here are some ways to rekindle your resolutions and stick with them.
1.) Make It Obvious
Look at ways you can make it the obvious choice to eat healthy, or to work out. One way you can do this to design your environment so that the healthier option is always right in front of you. Perhaps you only buy healthy food at the grocery store, so that when you’re at home and it’s time to prepare lunch the decision has already been made. Or, for staying active, maybe you set out your workout clothes the night before, so that when you wake up they are there a reminder.
2.) Make It Attractive
It’s no secret that things you enjoy doing are more likely to be repeated than things you dread – but when it comes to exercise and nutrition, too many people fall prey to trying to do too much.
If you find eating only grilled chicken and steamed broccoli boring, it’s time to find healthy meal options you actually look forward to eating. Pinterest has lots of great recipes, so try a few and stick to the ones you love. You may be surprised that healthy foods don’t have to be bland!
If you aim to be more active, try starting small. Schedule in a few workouts each week that you’ll look forward to – maybe a walk with a friend, or an exercise class with your favorite trainer.
3.) Make It Easy
When it comes to creating new habits, the easier they are, the more likely we are to stick to them. So, to keep up with your New Years’ Resolutions, it’s time to remove all possible hurdles.
For exercise, try working out from home (perhaps with a personal trainer!), or finding a workout routine close to home or work so that the commute is not a burden. For healthy eating, preparing your meals at the beginning of the week can be a life saver. Having your food ready to go takes all of the decision making out of the picture, leaving far less room for you to stray from your diet.
4.) Make It Satisfying
Finally, one of the most important ways to stick to your new habits and keep up your motivation is to find them satisfying. Think of ways that you can consider your workout routine or healthy eating patterns as a treat. One way to do this is to stack something you enjoy doing immediately after the habit you’re trying to create. So, if you love your morning Starbucks routine, perhaps you limit yourself to going only after you’ve got your workout in.
Seeing progress is also one of the most effective ways to keep motivation high and find your efforts satisfying. If your goal is to lose weight, it might be unrealistic to expect the scale to move each day, but you could track your progress by marking on a calendar each day you stick to your new habits. The feeling of not wanting to break a streak you’ve got going can often be enough to push you through the days when your drive is wavering.
Long story short, developing new habits can be difficult, but as you’re thinking about what you want to improve upon in 2019, put together a plan to make your new habits as accessible to you as possible.
4 habit tips are outlined in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits.