At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we wanted to bring you a blog that demonstrated the reflective, contemplative state evoked by this New Year’s celebration, our gift for your New Year.
We did our research, and we found many articles about how to make New Year’s Resolutions. (We hope you made a healthy one or two!)
However, we found very little about how to keep those resolutions successfully.
Then, just as we were about to give up, “Bam!” We crashed into the perfect system for keeping a New Year’s resolution, in the middle of Time Magazine, December 29, 2014 to January 5, 2015 issue, written by Mandy Oaklander.
We re-phased some of her ideas, summarized them, and put our own spin on them to bring you our Seven Steps for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions!
Our Seven Secrets For Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions, 2015!
1. Ready, Aim, Fire!
According to Oaklander, New Year’s Day makes a very good “benchmark” for defining a goal.
It’s also a very busy day. We agree with Oaklander that if you “miss” it, find a Monday to begin your resolution.
According to Time magazine, you’ll be statistically more likely to accomplish it. This is the secret behind the success of programs like “Move It Monday,” a fitness technique that just
might be a good fit for your New Year’s Resolution.
2. Don’t Wing It! Make Your Plan “A.”
You should make out a concrete plan.Your vague wishes or grand intentions are not enough. We suggest you put it in writing, make a chart, or sketch a pictograph. Oaklander stated, “An actual plan prevents procrastination.”
A small part of changing deeply ingrained behaviors might require that you know a little bit about human behavior.
Check it out at “Psychological Self-Help Tools,” at this helpful web site.
3. What About Plan “B?”
The experts advise us to forget it! If you have a back up plan, you might be sabotaging your major goal.
So, in circus language, you have to work without a net on the tight-rope of your resolution.
The lack of a Plan “B” will maximize your will power, and minimize your procrastination. Research demonstrated that people with Plan B were less likely to attain their main objective.”
4. Make It Expensive: A great example of a difficult resolution would be losing weight.
See how behavioral economists have designed a system for negative feed-back if you miss your objective, at this amazing website.
(Example and Hint: If you don’t lose pounds, you pay money. You can even choose who you pay for your transgressions.) Oaklander calls this technique “Raising the Stakes.”
5. Divide up That Big Goal: We all know about this step.
Take baby steps toward that major resolution or goal. At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we suggest you write a list of small objectives. You might be suprised at how
gratifying it can feel when you check-off small accomplishments on your list.
Not only will this enhance your enjoyment of the process, but the tactic will help boost your resolve.
6. Use Willpower Wisely:
Apparently, many scientists believe there is a limited amount of willpower within any goal-oriented person, behind any behavioral change. We know that constant refusals of something we want, like calories, results in a sense or deprival which leads us to depression.
In the case of weight loss, it could even lead to a big binge on your favorite carbohydrates. So, be on target, but be gentle with yourself.
If you want to know more about the power of creating good habits and losing the old ones, you might take a look at Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
In addition to re-enforcing your resolutions, you will discover behavioral secrets in a book “which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide and spent over 90 weeks on New York Times’ best seller lists.”
7. We take a moment to finally suggest you get help and support!!
If your New Year’s Resolution has anything to do with your lifestyle, health or behavioral changes. At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, a consultation can bring you insights and help that you might not even realize. Our team of nutrition and wellness experts is here to help you validate and keep your healthy resolutions in 2015!
Even if you are a basically healthy person, you could check with us or your primary physician before resolving to adopt a radically new physical regime.