It’s hard to believe that the year is almost through already! As we approach the end of 2019, this is a time to reflect on the year that was and to plan for what we hope 2020 could be. What goals do you want to accomplish to improve your life in the coming decade?
We know that it can be easy to be cynical about New Year’s resolutions when so many of the new faces at the gym always seem to have disappeared by February. However, we can all still look at the new year as a great opportunity to make a new commitment to our health and happiness. Here are some tips that might help you stick to your resolutions for 2020.
Be ambitious with your New Year’s resolution, but stay realistic. Setting a goal that you have no chance of achieving is just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. If your goal involves getting more exercise, don’t set a workout schedule that your body can’t handle. Pushing too hard can cause burnout or injury. You can also improve your diet without feeling like you’ve blown it if you have a bowl of ice cream once in a while. Remember that this is supposed to be a step towards improving your life, not a punishment.
There’s strength in numbers. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, don’t keep it to yourself. Telling someone close to you about your New Year’s resolution will make it feel more real to you and help to hold you accountable. Ask your friends whether they’re making any resolutions this year and check in regularly to support each other. Ideally, find an accountability buddy who has the same resolution as you do.
It takes time to get used to a new routine. Studies have shown that it takes around three weeks to adjust to new habits and just over two months before they become fully automatic. The new you won’t just appear overnight, it takes time and patience. If you feel yourself really struggling in the first few days, try to keep it together and stay motivated. Almost everything gets easier with time.
Lay out milestones before the year begins, and celebrate when you reach them! Of course, we don’t mean that you should reward yourself by sticking to your diet by eating a whole chocolate cake. Find ways to reward yourself that don’t conflict with your New Year’s resolution. This could be buying something you’ve been wanting, a day out at a movie or sporting event, anything that helps you savor your achievement. Don’t forget to take pleasure and pride in your accomplishments!
Nobody’s perfect. Lapses happen. If you break your New Year’s resolution, whatever it is – say you forget your diet during a stressful week, or you have a cigarette at a party when you promised yourself you’d quit – it’s not the end of the world. The feelings of shame that we have when we break a resolution can all too easily spiral and lead to a backslide. If you slip up once in a while, just take a deep breath and remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place.
As Neil Degrasse Tyson loves to remind us, there’s not really anything cosmic or magical about the start of a new year. It’s a handy starting place for a self-improvement project, but you can just as easily make or remake your resolution on any old day of the year. If you run out of steam on your New Year’s resolution, there’s no reason you can’t start all over. Try to stick to it for one day, and then another, and then another. You’ll be amazed at how fast the time piles up.
Above all, we at the Medical Offices of Manhattan hope everyone has a very happy new year. Whatever your plans are for the coming year, we wish you the best of luck, health, and happiness. We’ll see you in 2020!