What seems like six very short months ago, we made resolutions to change habits and create a better me for 2016. Hopefully, you were successful with your resolutions and have not gone back to habits you resolved to improve.
Whether you need to change the habits you resolved to “fix” in January or have new resolutions you’d like to tackle, join Betsy’s this July as we explore tips for the 21 days it takes to make a pattern of behavior a habit. After all, if we can have Christmas in July, why not also have July Resolutions?
In January each year, we all take at least a moment to reflect and set goals toward creating better habits:
- We want to replace water with lemon for all those sodas we’ve been drinking.
- We want to work out four times a week instead of hanging out in front of the television.
- We want to munch on fruits and vegetables instead of potato chips and candy bars.
Once you have decided which habit you most want to change, the next step is deciding which better habit you will develop to replace the bad one. The best goals are those which follow the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.:
- Be Specific: Decide what activity will replace your bad habit. When you want a soda, drink lemon water. When you get a sugar craving, go for a short walk until the craving goes away.
- Measure Your Progress: If you can’t put a quantitative value on your progress, then you reduce your chances of achieving your goals. Set numbers to reach like 3 days of the week when you don’t have a soda. Slowly increase those days until you no longer drink sodas.
- Make achievable, realistic goals: Don’t expect 0 to 60 progress in your life, or you will fail before you even begin. If you have consumed 3 to 4 sodas a day for years, don’t expect to be able to stop cold turkey. The rapid decrease in caffeine alone would most likely cause massive headaches. Be realistic in what you can accomplish so that you push yourself in your goals but can actually still reach them.
- Put a time limit on it: Give yourself a set amount of time in order to achieve a goal or else you will run the risk of procrastinating until the goal slips right through your fingers. A time-bound goal has the accountability factor necessary to accomplishing anything.
The most important verb in any resolution-centered goal is the word choose. When you understand that what happens in your life is your choice, including choosing how you respond to the things that are outside of your control, then your ability to choose healthier, better paths for you becomes easier.
Writing down what you are or are not doing may also be a great support for your resolution goals. A simple pen and pad of paper or the latest APP on ITunes will both do the trick when it comes to seeing what you are doing in black and white. Besides serving as a visual record, this journal can serve as your own accountability partner when it comes to learning a new habit.
Betsy’s is ready to help you make the first 21 days of July a time to change your habits for a healthier you. Check out our daily posts on Facebook and Google+ from July 1 through July 21 to help you reach the goals you’ve set for the rest of this year. And don’t miss our #MotivationMonday, every Monday this year, as we explore ways to keep moving to stay fit this year and beyond.
And thank you for letting Betsy’s help you reach your 2016 healthy lifestyle goals.