It is the 12th day of the January, and according to research from the USA, most of us will have ditched our new year's resolutions by today.
It is not about the destination, it is about the journey you live along the way.
Whether you committed to losing some COVID kilos, moving more, drinking less alcohol, or stubbing out other bad habits, all the best-made plans can hit a bump in the road. That is why today, we are sharing nine ways get over the bump, keep going and make your goals into healthy habit reality.
1. Why are you doing this?
Be clear about why you are making changes. List your goals and put an I next to each one that you decided for yourself. Put an O next to the changes people are urging you to make. Think about why others are encouraging you to make these changes. Do you agree? Or are you going through the motions? According to psychologists, you are more likely to succeed if you are motivated to make changes that you believe in. If the changes you are being urged to make by others are better health challenges and you are not convinced, consider talking it through with your loved ones. Might it be time to see a health professional?
2. How was your habit formed?
The first step to creating positive habits is identifying and understanding how and why your current practices are the way they are. Once you know how these habits were formed, and why, you can start to identify the new patterns you would like to replace your old ones. Write down your plan. Be specific about each daily goal, what will you do and never forget why you are making better health changes in the first place.
3. Go for quality not quantity
Research shows that the likelihood of success as far as adopting a healthy habit for a year or more is better than 80% when you adopt one at a time. With two actions, chances of success are less than 35%, and when trying to alter three or more behaviours, success rate plummets to less than 5%. So, pick your most important goal and go for it one change at a time. Do not end up feeling overwhelmed by trying to make too many changes at once.
4. Bring on the buddies
Having a buddy to help you along the way makes you accountable, encourages you to share successes and challenges. Telling others also helps to keep you accountable. Who will you choose?
5. Chop up your goal
Did you achieve your goal at the end of the day? If not, think about chopping your plan. Break up your goals into smaller chunks. For example, if you want to lose 10kg in weight, break it into five mini-goals of 2kg weight-loss each. And when you reach your goal, take time to acknowledge your success, celebrate it. And then move onto the next.
6. Get real
It takes time to develop unhealthy habits, so it makes sense that it takes time to undo them. There is no quick fix or magic diet – and that is fine. One step at a time and you will get there.
7. Don't let a bad day get in your way
Everyone has bad days, so do not dwell on it. Look at the bigger picture and decide that you will not let one day fix your fate. Remember why you decided on your goals in the first place and get back on the road tomorrow or later that day.
8. Don't compare yourself to others
There will always be someone doing better than you – or are they? Comparing yourself with others adds unnecessary pressure and allows self-doubt to creep into your mind. Why isn't it happening for me you might ask? Remember that you, like everyone else, are unique. And it is not a race. So, wish your friends well and then put the focus back onto yourself and the things you are doing right all the while remembering why you are on this journey.
9. Amend it sure – but keep going
Everybody has setbacks. But if you finding it trouble to keep on track, think about why - is the goal too difficult? Think about amending it a little. Your goals should be there to shape your life in a way that makes you happy, not enslave or depress you. Because it is not about the destination, it is about the journey you live along the way.