Posted on: January 8, 2018
Many people attempt to begin new healthy habits on New Years Day. Ashley Wooley, LMFT has some great tips for you as you begin your new habit journey.
Featured Expert: Ashley Wooley, LMFT
For the last five years my New Year’s resolution has been to eat healthier. Unfortunately, as my family and probably my co-workers could tell you, that is a resolution that I have yet to keep, and my diet continues to have more spaghettios and cookies in it than green things. I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this struggle. Many people make New Year’s resolutions around this time of year, for it is at this time that we tend to reflect on the past 365 days and consider what went well and what did not go so well. We ask ourselves what we need to change to make the next year better, to make ourselves happier, more satisfied, more fulfilled, and so resolutions are born. They range from eating healthier to exercising to learning a new language to just being a better person. Some people succeed in these endeavors but a vast majority of us tend to fail, if not immediately then within a few months of the new year. But why? Why do these resolutions never seem to stick? Why does real change seem so difficult to achieve?
The main problem with most resolutions is that people come up with too many or their goals tend to be too broad. For example, the objective of “become healthier” can involve multiple areas from better diet to exercising to getting more sleep, and all of these different aspects can be achieved in multiple different ways and can all be challenging on their own. Where do you even start? The goal can quickly become overwhelming and stressful and it can start to feel like is completely unattainable for us. We become disappointed and anxious when it does not work out the way we want and then we usually give up entirely and return to our old habits. This cycle is very common and normal but there are ways to help break it. Here are some tips for creating New Year’s resolutions that can actually work:
Change is always challenging. It often comes with frustrations and setbacks and stress. Sometimes thinking about starting the process of change can be daunting in itself, making us want to avoid it all together. But the anticipation is usually worse than the act, and deciding that change, while scary, is possible and can be highly rewarding can help motivate you to just start. Pick a goal, begin those baby steps, gather your support, and remember that the journey with all its ups and downs is more important than the destination. I have a feeling that 2018 is going to be a very good year. With any luck, I’ll be eating a few more veggies along the way.
Happy New Year!