According to U.S. News, approximately 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. In other words, the odds are stacked against you. But let’s look at the bright side: nearly 20 percent of people have success when resolving to improvements in the new year. What makes that portion successful? According to the experts, the most successful resolution holders are those who make realistic, small goals that are easier to follow.
One simple way to support your New Year’s goals this year is to follow the SMART goal-setting methodology. Setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (or, more conveniently, SMART) can help you increase your chances of self-improvement during the New Year and anytime you want to meet a specific goal in your life. Here are a few more simple ways to support your New Year’s resolution for failsafe success.
How to Keep Your Health Resolutions Alive
- Get Specific About Your Goals — Some of the most successful resolution holders are those who choose specific goals, say the experts. For example, rather than telling yourself you’re going to lose weight or get in shape, set a measurable weight loss goal in the form of pounds or body measurements. Implement the SMART method by taking small steps and projecting your desired milestones on the calendar.
- Seek Supplemental Support — Supplements are an excellent way to complement your specific weight loss or health resolutions. For example, you can resolve to take a daily digestive enzyme to support your body’s ability to better digest food and to improve your overall health and well-being Another way to boost overall health is to take a systemic enzyme blend with enteric-coated serrapeptase. This enzyme supplement can also help you reach your exercise goals by supporting muscle, joint, and tissue health and reducing inflammation.
- Hold Yourself Accountable — Support plays a key role in almost any journey, whether it be quitting smoking, cutting out soda or minimizing phone use before bedtime. How do you ensure that you don’t slip up from time to time? Buddy up! See if you can find a resolution buddy to help hold yourself accountable. Check in daily or weekly with your buddy or ask him or her to join you at the gym or park for a hike. Other great ways to hold yourself accountable include daily journaling or using fitness tracking apps with a social media element to help stay connected with others on a similar journey.
- Measure Your Progress — Trust us: we know how hard it is to step on the scale when you know you’re not going to like the results. It’s similar to checking your bank account when you know you overspent. But closely monitoring your progress will help you stay encouraged and mitigate setbacks. It’ll also help you make measurable, necessary changes if you’re not getting the results you’re after. If weight loss is your goal, commit to weighing yourself every day, even after a particularly indulgent setback.
- Talk to the Experts — Getting comfortable with seeing professionals — physicians, mental health counselors, acupuncturists, massage therapists or any other health-related provider — will help you stay accountable. Like a good buddy, a doctor will closely monitor your progress while providing emotional support. If you’re one of those people who hates seeing the doctor, make it your New Year’s resolution to address the anxiety!
- Go Easy on Yourself — The last thing you want to happen when setting a goal is to become so defeated by failure that you feel depressed or develop a low self-worth. Before you go into any big lifestyle change or goal, make sure that you preserve your self-esteem by reminding yourself that everyone fails. The important part is to focus on getting back on track, no matter how much of a setback you’ve experienced.
- Keep a Journal — Writing down your thoughts via pen and paper (or the Notes app on your phone, if that’s your thing) is an excellent way to check in with your current and past self about your progress. Like regular weigh-ins and check-ups, journals measure your progress. The difference is, they’re limitless in what they can record. Write down measurable milestones and progress, but also make sure to jot down how you’re feeling about your progress on any given day.
- Take Baby Steps — As ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Make small changes every day that contribute to a larger goal, whether it be cutting out that second helping at dinner or making a point to read (and respond to) every single e-mail once a week. Those who want to get in shape can follow this methodology with programs like the Couch to 5K running plan, which starts with short jogs and leads you to a full 5K in just two months.
- Develop a Plan for Slip-Ups — We’re not naysayers, we’re just realists. Chances are, at some point in your resolution journey, you’ll be faced with the inevitable slip-up. In order to prevent self-deprecation and falling off the wagon completely, make sure that you have a plan in place for how you’re going to handle setbacks. That could mean having a close friend and supporter on speed-dial or committing to an extra 20 minutes at the gym. A solid backup plan will help you get back on course fast.
- Give Yourself Props — Learning healthy ways to congratulate yourself is a life skill in and of itself, and one that’s worthy of your time. It’s important for almost everyone — even those who aren’t worried about weight gain or nutrition — to learn ways to reward themselves without food. This could mean taking yourself out to the movies, taking the afternoon off work for a binge-watching session or giving yourself some extra self-care time. Reward yourself every time you reach a milestone in your journey.
How have you stayed successful with your health resolution? Share your tips in the comments below!
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