7 Steps to a Healthier You: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

You are never too old, too out-of-shape, or too overweight to make healthy changes. And while it doesn’t take the start of a new year to institute healthy changes in your life, it is the perfect opportunity to think about the improvements you would like to see in your life and to create an action plan to accomplish those goals.

No matter your New Year’s resolution, here are seven simple strategies to boost your chance of making the change a habit:

  1. Set a realistic goal
    1. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated and want to give up by starting off with an unattainable goal. Setting one realistic goal to obtain will help you avoid trying to change too much too quickly.
  2. Incorporate small goals within larger ones
    1. The “go big or go home” mentality rarely works when it comes to implementing lifestyle changes. It’s easier to take baby steps than one giant leap. Plus, it feels so good to when you get to cross an accomplished goal off your list!
  3. Develop an action plan
    1. Outline specific behaviors you can accomplish daily, weekly, and monthly to help you meet your goal. Need ideas? Check out our year-round employee engagement calendar . Want to encourage your employees to become healthier? Read through our Health and for steps to implement and wellness program at your workplace.
  4. Prepare for challenges
    1. Without a doubt you will slip up, but what is important is having a plan to get back on track. Avoid the “all or nothing” mentality because it’s better to do something than nothing, remind yourself of why the change was important to you to begin with, and eliminate your environment of any crutches. For example, if you are wanting to quit smoking, throw away your ashtrays and lighters.
  5. Track your progress
    1. If you can measure it, you can change it. Monitoring yourself is one of the best predictors of successful change. It enables you to see trends and stop any downward spiral before it gets out of control. Find ways of making the tracking convenient through apps or computer programs.
  6. Reward yourself
    1. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you’ve achieved a small goal or milestone. Avoid backsliding by ensuring the reward reinforces the change in your life. For example, if your goal is to be active 30 minutes every day then after a month of activity reward yourself by purchasing a new item of active wear clothing or downloading an album or book on tape to listen to while moving.
  7. Be patient
    1. If you can maintain the healthy change for 6-8 weeks, you are more likely to support that effort longer term. Research shows that people’s health behaviors tend to mirror those of their family, friends, and spouses. Set yourself up for long-term success by getting others involved.