Eat healthier …
Get more organized …
Exercise more …
These may sound familiar as resolutions we have all made many times. And then…the change doesn’t last. Changing habits is hard work but it can be done.
First: Make the change into a specific, reasonable goal. Eating healthier is too big a goal and too vague. Pick one thing you would like to change about your eating and focus on that for one month. Then once that change is successful, choose the next goal. For example, I will eat a healthy breakfast three times a week. This is a reasonable and manageable goal.
Second: Get support for your change. Change will last longer if important people in your life or community are a part of the process. For example, if your goal is to exercise, you can find someone to walk with you or take a class with you. Some people even use their dogs as motivators to get walking!
Third: Identify what this change means to you. Why is it important to you to eat healthier or to get organized? What are the good things that will come of this change? Staying focused on your values and the positive outcomes of the change will help you stay motivated. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about this on a regular basis, then make your own list and carry it with you as a reminder.
Fourth: Acceptance. Change is a process that can sometimes involve relapse. So you have a week where you skip breakfast or eat donuts every morning. Accept this as normal rather than letting it stop you from continuing with your goal. Review your list for your reasons for making the change and start again!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year (all year long) from the Counseling Program at the Women’s Center!
Year image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.