Every year, without fail, I make a list of New Year’s Resolutions I promise myself I’m going to keep. I vow to get fit, stop drinking soda, sleep more, read a ton of books, and not buy any new clothes. Fast forward to January 14 and I, without fail, always break every resolution on the list.
We hear all the time about why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, but I do believe there’s something to be said for using a new calendar year to make changes in your life. In fact, one of the big reasons so many resolutions fail is because they’re too broad and ultimately unattainable.
If you’re looking to make changes in 2021 or want to set health and fitness goals for yourself, here are a few ways to make realistic resolutions you won’t break.
Pick the Right Resolution
For too many years I was making my New Year’s Resolutions based on societal expectations. I felt as though I needed to lose weight so I could look like girls in magazines or people on social media, not because I wanted to lose weight.
Before sticking to a resolution, it is incredibly important that you’re doing it for the right reasons. As you sit down to write your list, ask yourself why you want to complete each resolution. If you can’t give yourself a good answer, it’s probably not the right resolution.
Do Not Be Vague
If you say you want to “get fit in 2021” or “eat healthy in 2021,” I almost guarantee you those resolutions will fail. They are vague and not specific, so there’s no clear goal. Instead, make your resolutions measurable and achievable.
For example, this year one of my resolutions was to “walk three times a week.” This was a concrete goal that I knew I could achieve every week because it was specific. Also, by making the goal attainable, I knew I wouldn’t burn out right away.
Keep It Simple
Rather than set five lofty goals (all of which will probably fall by the wayside in a few weeks), pick just one to focus on. It’s easy to feel inspired and motivated on January 1, but it’s hard to maintain that enthusiasm for 365 days.
So, if you’re really hoping to improve your diet next year, pick just one resolution that pertains to changing your eating habits. Maybe you vow to eat a vegetable at every meal or only eat out once a week, but hone in on that one resolution. This will also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed by all the pressure of having to juggle multiple resolutions at once.
Put It All Out There
Once you’ve decided on your health and fitness New Year’s Resolution, put it out there for the world to know. For example, if you’re wanting to run a half marathon in 2021, tell your friends and family, post about it on social media, and keep people updated on your progress.
This will not only help keep you accountable, but you may find other people in your life who are hoping to do the same thing. There’s something to be said for speaking our goals into existence, so don’t be afraid to shout your plans from the rooftops.