By the HELP Committee and Havre Public Schools
At the end of every year, millions of people find themselves making resolutions for the new year to come. New Year's resolutions are a custom that people have attempted to practice for many years.
Resolutions are a positive practice that leads people to envision what they might be if they could stick to a plan of action consistently over the coming year. This practice usually requires discipline on the part of the individual who is making the resolution, with sticking to it being the biggest challenge. Many times, resolutions are focused on an individual's health or an area in their lives in which they would like to better themselves. The most common examples of these types of resolutions are quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, working out and getting more sleep. These resolutions are useful and usually they are very attainable. All it takes is a sound plan of attack and the right motivation to keep on the right track.
For most of us, making a New Year's resolution of some sort is an event that we participate in at this time every year, and at the same time it is also something that falls to the wayside shortly after the new year has begun. What can people do to make sure that they stick with their goals for a better self for the coming year? Here are four tips on how to make it easier to get your resolutions to stick for an entire year and hopefully for a lifetime.
Record your resolutions
The first step in creating a successful resolution is to record the outcomes that you desire to achieve for the year. These need to be written in order of priority for you and you alone, whether you would like to reach your ideal body weight, develop an individualized fitness regime, learn and practice sound nutrition, achieve an active and healthy lifestyle, or stop smoking or drinking alcohol. Think about your state of health, your lifestyle choices and current health patterns and what about them you may need to change to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. That is where you begin.
Set realistic goals
Once you have recorded your goals, you need to move on to the next step in the process. This second step involves breaking down your target goals into smaller steps that make the process of not breaking your resolutions easier to handle. For example, if your goal is to reach your ideal body weight, you will need to focus on nutrition, fitness and body image. Activity, proper diet and visualizing the body you were meant to have is the healthiest and most effective way to regulate your weight. At this point, you need to plan the best way to improve your diet, participate in routine physical activity and find time to focus on your own vision for your body. Write down your goals for the week, take each goal one week at a time and re-establish those goals as you reach them so the process can continue until you have reached your ultimate goal.
Record your progress
Buy a book in which you can record your progress, whether it is a blank journal, a lined paper workbook or a binder with graph sheets and record fields for writing down each day's steps toward your goals. Writing your progress down not only helps you to see how far you have come in the process of reaching your ultimate goal, but it gives you incentive to keep going as you get closer and closer to where you want to be.
If it is worth putting in the effort to try and better your overall personal health, you might as well take the time to make the experience complete and give yourself every chance to succeed.
Involve others in your quest
Taking care of your health is not only a great gift for yourself but for your loved ones as well. Good health offers you the opportunity to share quality time and positive activities with those who are close to you. It helps to share your healthy activities with someone else, whether it is a friend or member of the family. Learn about nutrition with family members, quit smoking with a buddy, or exercise with a partner or a small group. Keep a journal together to help explore your progress. Working together will help both of you keep on track toward attaining your resolutions. The supportive atmosphere will make the hard times, when you feel you will falter, easier.
It is often said that resolutions are made to be broken, but when it comes to your health, they are an effective way to turn things in the right direction. Health resolutions can be made and maintained. If you falter, don't worry about it. Start the process over tomorrow and start working toward that goal again. The key is to find activities that will make you happy on the way to achieving your goal. For instance, if your goal is to get into better physical shape, but you don't like running, try biking or whatever physical activity that you enjoy. If you are unsure of what you want to do, keep trying new things until you find something that feels right to you and stick with it. After all, this is your health that we are talking about.
For more information on how to quit smoking, contact the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line at 265-6206.