The first month of the new year is a time for new intentions. It comes with a desire to change habits. (Although this year is different than ever before.) But it’s easy to embark on a path to self improvement with unrealistic goals. Overly optimistic resolutions tend to make efforts unsustainable. But by the end of January, you can adjust those ambitious goals to make them more obtainable. Instead, try small health changes with lasting effects.
By doing this, it’s easier to make lasting daily habits. Try these small health changes with lasting effects.
Baby steps all the way.
The reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail is that we start too big. Instead, opt for a slow approach that focuses on smaller steps. Challenge yourself to complete a healthy week with simple changes. These changes, like drinking more water or ten minutes of daily activity can pave the way for progress.
Be spontaneously active.
Finding motivation to exercise isn’t always easy. Maintaining a workout routine is a habit that develops over time. Which is why we struggle to get motivated. But there are ways of bringing exercises into your everyday life. If you’ve got a pair of comfortable and waterproof shoes, for instance, it’s easier to be spontaneous about physical activities.
Take a short walk every single day. Even in the rain. Or try waking up at dawn before anyone else is up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk instead of drive, if you can. These mindful choices will lead to small health changes with lasting effects.
Make yourself accountable.
There’s no point in creating a healthy routine if you don’t monitor your progress. SMART goals make you accountable for your choices. Because they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Instead of a vague goal without strategy, apply the SMART methodology:
- Specific: I want to exercise 30 minutes 4 times a week.
- Measurable: Focus on numbers that keep you from cheating.
- Attainable: Be realistic about your goals.
- Relevant: Pick something meaningful, such as having more energy during the day.
- Time-bound: Create a timeline.
It’s never too late to improve upon your New Year’s resolutions. By anchoring them into your day and introducing sustainable habits, the changes become more natural.