This week, we’ll start a deep-dive into several types of new year’s resolutions. Now, you might be thinking, why are we doing this now? New Year’s Day was weeks ago. It’s too late.
But it’s not too late. Starting new practices on January 1st is a great tradition, but it’s not a requirement. There’s no reason to wait until next year – or even tomorrow – to begin living the way you know you should be living.
Today we start with health goals. A lot of the most common new year’s resolutions concern health: to lose weight, to get back into shape (or start exercising), to stop smoking. All of those are great goals, but they won’t be accomplished overnight. All of them will require time to change habits and learn to live a new way. They may require professional support (smoking cessation treatment, a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a therapist).
The first step is to break down your goal into smaller steps and do something to get started. Maybe you’ll set up an appointment with a trainer or get the unhealthy food out of your cabinets.
A second step is to set interim goals and decide on rewards for achieving each one. They don’t need to be big and expensive – just something to mark the accomplish. For example, if you work out four times a week for a month, you get a massage. Or once you lose 10 pounds, you get a mani-pedi. Set the goals and rewards before you begin. Just make sure that your rewards don’t undermine your goals. So the right reward for losing 25 pounds probably isn’t a dinner out at a fancy restaurant, but it might be a healthy cooking class.
Please don’t forget the less common health resolutions: Are you up to date on your necessary screening tests? What about your immunizations? When was the last time you visited the dentist or had your eyes examined?