If you made a New Year’s resolution this year, chances are it has something to do with improving your health. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, losing weight was the number one New Year’s resolution of 2014. It was closely followed by other healthy habits, like quitting smoking, and staying fit and healthy.
The study also reports that only 8% of Americans were successful in achieving their resolution. So, what are the other 92% of us doing wrong? Here are a few tips to help you stay on track this year:
1. Set SMART goals.
The key to staying on track with your healthy resolution is to set SMART goals. SMART goals hold you accountable because they are:
- Specific: The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to achie ve. Instead of saying I want to get in shape this year you should strive to work out at least three times a week.
- Measurable: Decide how you want to measure your progress. How will you know when you’ve accomplished your goal?
- Attainable: Ask yourself if this goal is reasonable for you. Is going to the gym every day actually something you can manage with your work schedule? If not, is there a more achievable target you are willing to work toward?
- Relevant: Choose a goal that is important to you and fits your lifestyle. Don’t choose a goal just because you think you should. Not sure how to tell the difference? Ask yourself why you want to achieve that goal.
- Time-bound: Make a plan with a timeline. Rather than having one daunting goal for the year, create a series of achievable benchmarks throughout the year to help you reach it. And, build in small rewards for hitting each benchmark.
2. Team up.
Everything is more fun with a friend! Having someone to motivate you and hold you accountable is what will help you stick to your resolution all year long.
3. Don’t get too ambitious.
The more goals you set, the harder it will be to achieve them. Think about setting two or three small, manageable goals you really want to achieve this year.
4. Utilize your smartphone.
Your Smartphone is full of apps that allow you to track what you eat, your exercise and even your sleeping patterns to help you improve your overall health. Not sure which ones you should use? Check out the best Smartphone apps to help you get fit in 2015!
5. Most importantly, don’t give up!
Remember, occasional slip-ups are completely normal – life happens. Don’t give up on your goal because you were busy and had to skip the gym. All you need to do is recover and get back on track.
Health organizations can take advantage of these healthy resolutions by positioning themselves as a resource in achieving these goals. As communications professionals, it’s important that we connect our clients with timely events and topics that matter to audiences. Right now, people are focused on starting off 2015 as healthy as possible. So a payer might consider offing classes to help people better understand health insurance, while a provider could promote its online healthy living materials.
What are your 2015 resolutions? Have you ever been one of the successful 8 percent? If so, share your secrets to success in the comments below!