The Five-Step Method to Starting (and Keeping) Your 2018 Resolutions
It’s that time of year again. It’s New Years’ Resolution season. That means almost everyone is looking to make changes, try new things, and do things a bit differently. While some are so over New Years’ Resolutions, I love them – particularly if the new promises we are making to ourselves involve improving or upping your health.
After all, I think that health is the cornerstone to a happy life. That’s why I think health is so important. It allows you to live life to your fullest. So, if you’re looking to live your best life in 2018, I want to help, which is why I am sharing my five-step process to building health habits that stick. Ready?
Step 1: Pick something you actually want to do. Drop the “shoulds” this year. “Shoulds” don’t get you very far. Think about it: Do you ever really want to do something you “should” do? Eeeeexxactly. So, let’s pick something you want to do. Pick a healthy habit that interests and excites you. Because excitement is key to starting – and eventually keeping – a healthy habit.
Step 2: Frame the action in the positive. A lot of us frame things in the negative. We don’t do mean to do it, but we do. Ever said to yourself “I will not eat sweets at dinner tonight”? Or “I won’t skip the gym tomorrow morning”? Or “I will not be bad today”? Mmmhmm. This is a problem because negative talk results in negative action. So, let’s frame your healthy habits of choice into the positive. “I will eat food that serves my body”. “I will go to the gym today. “I will treat myself well”. You get the idea.
Step 3: Set reminders – everywhere. Habits are easy to execute once they are habits. But we’re not there yet. So, you have to remind yourself you want to do a particular activity until it becomes an automatic activity. Studies vary on the time it takes to form a habit (some say 11 days, some say 21, some say 90). So, until you know that healthy thing you want to do is a habit (and you’ll know), set reminders – everywhere. In your phone. On your mirror. At your desk. Got it?
Step 4: Plan for failure. I know. I know. I just told you to think in the positive. And I want you to. But – and this is a big “but” – I don’t want you to be derailed when you stumble the first time. We all fail at least one time (usually five, six, seven plus) when building the habit-bone. So, just know that you’ll probably screw up. That you’re actually human. And that you’ll need to give yourself a little grace as you work to build your new, healthy habits.
Step 5: But don’t be defeated by failure. Just because you are going to fail a couple times doesn’t mean you are a failure. You stumble because there are lessons to be learned. So, stumble, figure out why you stumbled, and then get back on track. Real talk: The mark of a healthy person is not eating clean 100% of the time or working out every day. The mark of a healthy person is how quickly she or he rebounds after falling off or purposely getting off the wagon for a day or two.
So, what health habit are you adopting in 2018? Shoot me a line or stop by Instagram to let me know. And just an fyi that if you stop by my Instagram, you’ll find out what my New Years’ Resolution is for 2018.
If you liked this post and want more like it, sign up for the Erica Ballard Health Newsletter.