Regardless the statistics I believe it’s worth to think about our goals and make a decision to change something for better. The intention and goal setting is a beginning of positive change. There are also some strategies that will help us succeed.
How to make resolutions?
Keep it on the positive side.
The research shows that we respond better to positive resolutions compared to negative ones. As an example instead of thinking of not eating sweats/sugar we are more likely to succeed if we focus on having healthy snacks and desserts more often. Let’s try to use “do’s” instead of “don’ts” as our brain responds better to positive messages. We can also prime our brain and forming new neuronal pathways, which are required for new healthy habits, by imagining we have already succeeded. This is why sportsmen visualize success before the event, and this actually has been proven to help them win.
Direction, not perfection.
Another problem with resolutions is that we often expect perfection. We all are not perfect and we are going to have minor or major setbacks. In these moments we tend to feel like a failure and give up completely. If we set our intentions towards doing something positive more often instead of expecting perfection, we are more likely to accept the little failures and continue to make positive changes. The most important thing is to move in the right direction, not to be perfect all the time.
Seek support and involve others.
Being prepared, thinking what could go wrong and having good strategies ready, is also a key in my opinion. Let’s also remember about the power of social connections. If we want to make positive changes it is very important to have friends, who can support us and have similar goals. More about that in my previous post ‘If you want to stay lean and healthy’.
Specific and achievable goals.
It’s also helpful to be specific in our intention setting. Instead of thinking about eating healthy, let’s think about what it actually means and break down into smaller, achievable steps. We are more likely to succeed if we focus on fewer, specific goals to start with. We can start with improving one of our meals or decide to have a good portion of vegetables with each meal whenever possible. Once we see we can do it and see positive effects of it, we are more likely to implement more changes. Trying to do it all at once, often ends in failure and accompanying feeling of guilt, which is shown to make us much less likely to stick to our resolutions.