And a Healthy New Year

According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, the three most common New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more, eat healthier, and to lose weight. However, a Forbes Health poll shows that, on average, Americans typically drop their resolutions before the beginning of April.

 There are a number of reasons people don’t keep their resolutions, whether it is due to the goal being too ambitious, or becoming discouraged by failure or lack of results. There are ways, however, to make achievable resolutions that can be maintained throughout the new year and beyond. 

Experts agree that when shaping your resolutions, the best way is to be specific and realistic. Vague objectives like “getting fit” often lack the clarity needed for success. Instead, strive for precision by articulating measurable goals such as exercising for 30 minutes five times a week or adopting a plant-based diet. By making your aspirations concrete, you not only define success more clearly but also reduce the likelihood of frustration.

“Too many people give up because they don’t really understand what they’re trying to achieve,” said Jason Shane, a trainer and fitness coach working in Utah Valley. “They lose sight of their big goal and give up when they should be focused on the steps they’re taking to get there.”

Shane also said that a critical shift in perspective involves focusing on behavior rather than outcomes. Instead of fixating solely on shedding pounds, redirect your attention to cultivating healthier habits. This might include committing to a daily exercise routine or embracing mindful eating practices.

It’s also important to prioritize overall well-being rather than aesthetic outcomes. Resolutions geared toward improved sleep, stress management, or increased energy levels foster a holistic approach to health, contributing to a more sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle.

Dr. Jarrett Hammer, whose practice is located in Spanish Fork, tells his patients that having a solid reason for wanting to lose weight or become healthier is vital.

“The best thing that people can do, is to reduce processed foods as much as possible and focus on cardio and strength training,” Hammer said.

For those facing monumental changes, the key lies in breaking down large goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Achieving these incremental milestones not only builds confidence but also makes the broader objective appear less overwhelming.

Seeking professional guidance can provide valuable insights into setting health-related resolutions. You can consult with healthcare professionals or fitness experts to tailor your goals to your individual needs, ensuring they are not only challenging but also safe and effective.

“Creating a realistic routine that’s aligned with your goals can significantly help the sustainability of healthy habits,” Shane said. “Establishing consistency, whether in your workout schedule or meal planning, reinforces positive behaviors and transforms resolutions into ingrained lifestyle changes.”

Shane is also a huge proponent of accountability, with “accountability partners” being key to success when it comes to health and fitness goals. Sharing your resolutions with friends or family members who can offer support and encouragement fosters a sense of camaraderie. Regular check-ins and shared milestones create a support system that makes it easier to stay on track, even when faced with challenges.

“You’ll also want to celebrate small victories along the way,” Shane said. “Recognize and reward yourself for every achievement, regardless of the size. This positive reinforcement can not only boost your motivation but also reinforces the idea that progress is a journey.”

He reiterated that the rewards should still align with your goals, meaning that instead of treating yourself to a cake after losing ten pounds, maybe buy yourself that new water bottle you’ve been wanting. Rewards can be small too, like taking a quiet walk somewhere or giving yourself 30 minutes to read.

Adaptability is a crucial aspect of maintaining resolutions. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may change. Instead of rigidly adhering to a predetermined plan, be open to adjusting your goals to better suit your current situation while still aligning with your overall objectives.

Reflect on your progress regularly. This introspection allows you to identify potential obstacles, adjust strategies, and stay focused on your journey toward better health. Embrace setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as reasons to abandon your resolutions.

Another vital component is to incorporate enjoyable activities into your resolutions. Whether it’s a favorite sport, hobby, or type of exercise, infusing joy into your pursuits makes them more sustainable in the long run. Choose activities that resonate with you, making the journey toward better health an experience to savor rather than endure. Ultimately, each person’s success comes down to the person’s ability to keep going. 

“Approach your resolutions with a positive mindset,” Shane said. “Understand that setbacks are a natural part of any transformative journey. Rather than viewing them as failures, think of them as opportunities to reassess, recalibrate, and reaffirm your commitment to a healthier life.”

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