New Year’s resolutions are a tradition, but many people struggle to stick to their goals. Common resolutions include making positive changes in health, like losing weight or quitting alcohol.
But why do so many resolutions fail? And what makes some people successful in reaching their goals? Our health experts at Hunter Health have some tips for making this year’s resolutions a success.
What Makes and Breaks a New Year’s Resolution
A simple yet important answer: setting realistic goals. Losing 50 pounds in a month is not only unrealistic, but it can also be unhealthy and harmful to your mental health.
“New Year’s resolutions can be a great chance to change habits or create new routines that can improve our wellbeing,” Falletti says. “But the mental impact of setting these goals is also worth considering in order to achieve them. It’s crucial to have a positive mindset and pick out the wins, rather than focusing on the failures.”
SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) can help define and set great goals. Another option is finding a support system to help hold you accountable.
“It’s important to focus on goals that will improve your health and lead you in a positive direction,” says Callie Wentling, Director of Clinical Quality and Engagement. “Resolutions are easier to achieve with support from family and friends, and setting goals in small groups can help keep everyone accountable.”
To help reach your goals, try breaking them down into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you could start by joining a gym, increasing your water intake, balancing your caloric intake with physical activity, avoiding soda, and taking time for rest and meditation.
The Mental Impact of New Year’s Resolutions
But it’s not just about the practicalities of achieving your New Year’s resolutions – the mental impact of setting those goals can also be a factor in success.
Having the right mindset is especially important for resolutions related to weight loss or happiness. These goals can often be connected to negative self-perception and can lead to feelings of failure if not achieved.
“If a person feels they have disappointed themselves or someone else they care about, this can often be triggering or induce some feelings of shame,” says Corine Falletti, Integrated Care Consultant. “It is important that if you plan on making a New Year’s resolution you stick to something reasonable, and/or something that has small goals built in, If you fall short, show yourself some grace and try again.”
Hold Yourself Accountable
There are a few ways accountability can help you stay on track and achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
- Find a support system, like a friend or family member who can check in on your progress, or a professional coach or therapist who can provide guidance and support.
- Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and progress-tracking apps to stay organized and on track.
- Think about the timing of your resolutions. Many people wait until the new year to start working towards their goals, but you can make positive changes in your life at any time.
In the end, the key to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions is to be mindful of both the practical steps needed to achieve them and the impact they can have on your mental and physical well-being. By setting realistic goals, having a plan in place, and maintaining a positive mindset, you can turn your resolutions into reality. Remember, it’s not about being perfect, but about personal growth and progress. If you need help planning for a healthy 2023, schedule an appointment with Hunter Health by calling 316-262-2415. Our unique integrated care model can help you achieve your best health yet for your mind, body, and spirit. Let’s make this year our best yet.