What were your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016? With about two weeks of 2016 behind us, we wondered further, have you kept them?
It’s an all too familiar scene. The holiday season is filled with parties and get-togethers and those are filled with cocktails, cookies, and candy, oh my. So, December 31st rolls around and you resolve to eat healthy, exercise more, cut out sugar, stop eating carbs, etc. But by January 2nd, about half of those resolutions may have already been broken.
Don’t worry, we are here to help! As a company dedicated to healthy living and ways to enhance that, we culled the most important information you need to not only make healthy habits but to keep them.
New York Times best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin, author of the new book, “Better than Before,” said it’s all about habits.
“Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life,” Rubin writes. “We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence, and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”
Rubin said changing your habits is not the same for everyone so you will have to figure out what works for them.
However, no matter what path or strategies you choose, everyone has to take the same first step, to actually begin.
Rubin suggests, Begin now, for her readers but a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School suggested that Monday, like the beginning of the year and other temporal landmarks is a time when individuals are more motivated than any other day of the week to achieve their goals, experts explained.
The study found that the reason behind that is individuals tend to separate their “current self” from their “imperfect past self” or more specifically separate the person eating a salad and drinking water from the same person who indulged in one too many cocktails over the weekend.
But how do you keep the healthy habits you’ve made? Rubin suggests in her book to not break the chain, like perfect attendance as an example. If you resolve to never miss your staff meetings again or never miss your Saturday morning training session at the gym, you’ll have great satisfaction in seeing that chain build and want to keep their “record” perfect.
“Every added link in the chain strengthens the habit—and any break in the chain marks a potential stopping point,” Rubin writes.
But if you do break the chain, consider the Monday Campaign, a new public health initiative that takes the research of the University of Pennsylvania and turns it into action. Their website provides weekly recipes, healthy tips, and valuable resources to help people keep those familiar New Year’s Resolutions of eating healthy, exercising more frequently, and reducing stress.
Morgan Johnson, the director of programs and research for the Monday Campaigns offers some of her important tips for sticking to your resolutions:
1. Hit the “reset” button. Whatever unhealthy behaviors you got into over the weekend, forgive yourself, let them go, and start fresh.
2. Set your intentions. Decide what health goal you want to achieve or make a decision to recommit to a goal that you might have wandered from.
3. Make a plan. Break that bigger goal/resolution up into smaller more manageable steps and decide to take one small step each Monday.
4. Get everyone on board. Everyone is more inclined to think about health on Monday, so reach out to your community for support in achieving your health goal.
5. Keep at it. Remind yourself that slip-ups happen to everyone and that every Monday is a new chance to try again.
Remember, you made your New Year’s Resolution for a reason. Giving up will only put in the same place you’ve been, that you’ve been trying to improve on. There are a ton of tips and tricks out there to help you keep your resolution. Find the one that works for you and create that new you that you originally set out to do.