Tips for reviving your New Year’s resolution goals
- Start small
- Change one behavior at a time
- Talk about it
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Ask for support
Written by Lauren Glendenning, Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente
It’s never too late to get back on track
Anyone who has made New Year’s resolutions knows the struggle to stick to them is real.
About 80 percent of health- and- fitness-related New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February, according to Gold’s Gym research that tracks membership check-ins nationwide. The biggest drop-off in gym attendance happens on Feb. 18, which the gym refers to as “the Fitness Cliff.”
One of the best ways to avoid falling off the cliff is to resist biting off more than you can chew, said Dr. Patricia Dietzgen, Family Medicine Physician at Kaiser Permanente Frisco Medical Offices.
“Change is hard for everyone; we tend to be creatures of habit,” she said. “Changing a lifelong daily lifestyle requires realistic goals and a well thought-out plan to try and achieve those goals.”
Things like making a schedule and writing down goals can help people stay on track. Rather than large changes, Dietzgen suggests making changes in smaller increments.
“If you planned on a 50-pound weight loss, shoot for 25 instead,” she said. “Making more achievable goals and succeeding will provide further motivation and impetus to go on to accomplish your final goals.”
Grocery shopping for the week and making meals ahead of time, for example, help many people resist the temptation to eat out.
“And, if you have to, put an alarm into your phone to remind you to get up and exercise during the work day,” she said. “Asking friends and family to cook with you, go to the gym with you or just help you stick to your schedule can make these changes easier.”
Not staying on track to meet a goal shouldn’t derail the entire process, either. Even for those who are part of that 80 percent statistic can turn things around anytime, not just on Jan. 1. It’s important to remember that falling off the wagon is common and shouldn’t be a reason to stay off track, Dietzgen said.
“We all need a break or a change,” she said. “Most people who consistently follow a healthy lifestyle have regularly scheduled exercise and eating habits. They exercise in groups, with friends and often cook as a family or with friends. They allow down time for relaxation, and play time.”
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