As the year goes on, it can be increasingly difficult to stick to the resolutions you made at the beginning of January. In simple terms: life gets in the way. If you fall into the 55% of people who keep their resolution for less than a year, you’re in luck! Nevada Health Link is here to help you make healthy resolutions and stick with them. Here are six of our top tips for making and keeping your New Year’s resolutions for 2023, whether you’re working on healthy eating, mental health issues, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, or something else.
Tip #1: Focus on One (Realistic) Goal at a Time
One of the most important ways to ensure you keep your resolutions is to go slow and focus on one at a time. It’s tempting to want to rehaul your life come New Year’s, but changing your routine and behavior is no small task— making it more manageable from the get-go is a great way to increase your chances of creating a resolution that sticks. Though we’re well into 2023, it’s never too late to reassess your goals and make them more realistic.
Tip #2: Establish SMART Goals
Goals like “getting healthy” or “exercising more often” are honorable, but they are very long-term and big-picture and don’t feel particularly achievable. One way to remedy this is to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable pieces, allowing you to plan your progress with measurable steps and milestones. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-Bound, and it provides a fantastic starting point for figuring out your goals. Ask yourself the following questions about what you’re trying to accomplish:
- How much do I do?
- How often do I do it?
- Where will I do it?
For example, if you want to read more often, your initial goal may be to “read more often.” This vague resolution provides no clear path to the end goal and feels insurmountably huge when applied to reality. A more achievable goal would be to read for 15 minutes every night before you go to bed on weekdays for two months. Maybe after those two months, you would raise your time to 20 or 30 minutes every night, and so on.
Tip #3: Small Steps Make a Big Difference
It’s cliche, but every journey in the entire world is made up of a million smaller steps. Your resolutions are the same way— following through with the promises you make to yourself on New Year’s means working on them one day at a time. Instead of going from 0-100% right away, do something that gets you closer to your goal every day. The SMART goal established previously is a good example; 10 or 15 minutes of reading a few nights a week seems infinitely more achievable than a goal of one hour every single night.
Tip #4: Make it Fun
It may seem like a no-brainer, but enjoying the pursuit of a new habit or hobby can make or break your commitment to it. Research suggests that getting joy from working out or studying increases your chances of persisting through them! If you have fun while doing your resolutions, there’s a better chance you’ll stick with them.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, for example, find food that is both delicious and nutritious, even if it’s not the MOST nutritious. If one of your resolutions is to work out more often, find an exercise that you find enjoyable! You can exercise in countless ways, whether lifting weights at the gym or dancing along to a cardio dance workout on YouTube.
Tip #5: Team Up with Friends/Family
Get by with a little help from your friends! Share your goals and progress with people who can support you or join you on your journey. You can also lean on others to keep you on track and accountable for the goals you set— social support sharply increases your chance of sticking with a resolution. That tiny bit of peer pressure can motivate you to follow through.
If you’re looking for ways to find friends and engage with the community, explore our Enrollment Events Calendar and save the date for a fun-filled event with fellow Nevadans!
Tip #6: Expect Obstacles and Be Flexible
Something to remember: Progress is never linear. Perfection is a myth, and the road to success will always be filled with obstacles and missteps. The best thing to do is anticipate them and give yourself the grace to make mistakes while on your path to progress. It’s easy to make an error and immediately want to give up on what you were working toward, but we’re here to tell you that allowing some wiggle room on your goals is the best way to stick with them!