Ah, 2017. Nothing like a fresh start. This year I resolve to eat healthier, lose weight, stay on budget, save money, spend more time with my family, travel more, drink less, stress less, and quit smoking.* And like most of us, I will forget these next month.
*I don’t smoke, so I won’t be quitting this year. I probably won’t drink less, either.
The typical “New Year’s Resolution” pattern is obviously flawed. Of the 45% of Americans who set resolutions, only 8% of them reach their goals. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help you reach your goals, and there are some goals that are easier to maintain and have a bigger impact than the standard resolution to “lose weight.”
To increase the likelihood you will reach your goals, start your resolutions with ‘I,’ say them as if they are already true, and be as specific as you can.
“I weight 130 lbs on June 27, 2017” is much more specific than “Lose weight.”
Productivity gurus suggest our subconscious responds to “I” statements with more enthusiasm than “to dos”. When the statement is different from current reality, our subconscious kicks into high gear to close the gap! Use I statements to phrase your resolutions and tell yourself where you WILL be when you reach it!
Here are some easy resolutions that can help you reach ALL of the goals you set in 2017.
Your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions
Drink more water
“I drink 96 oz of water a day”
While health officials debate the amount of water we need, water is essential to our daily metabolism. Even mild dehydration can cause negative effects such as fatigue, headaches, decreased mood, and lower concentration. Studies show greater water intake increases weight loss in controlled groups, so whether your resolution is to lose weight or to feel better and be more effective in your life, drink more water!
Get more sleep
“I sleep 7 hours a night”
It’s no secret that sleep is important. Yet the majority of us don’t get enough. With all the items on our to-do lists, sleep is often the thing that gets pushed aside. What if you could take a pill to work smarter and faster, allowing you to get everything done and still have enough time to sleep? Guess what – you don’t need a pill. You just need the sleep! Studies show getting enough sleep (7 – 9 hours for adults) enhances performance and productivity. This year try to pencil in more sleep time for yourself, and you may achieve many more goals in addition to your New Year’s resolutions!
“I give at least 5 hugs a day.”
Most of us live in touch-phobic societies. We keep our distance from one another, rarely hugging or touching at all the people we see daily. Physical contact is very important, though. A simple touch causes the body to release hormones such as oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone, and can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and stress. It can also boost your immune system and improve mood. The effects of touch are not just limited to humans, either. Giving your dog a great big hug counts! So this year, try to reach out and touch those around you more. You’ll be happier and less stressed, and your hug may be just the thing your huggee needed to get through the day.
Allow yourself to be human
“I forgive myself.”
I am human and I assume you are too. We make decisions ALL DAY LONG, thousands in a day. If occasionally we are less than perfect and make a choice that flies directly in the face of our resolutions or goals, THAT IS OK!! Make the decision right then and there to forgive yourself and move on to the next decision. The negative talk should not be tolerated from anyone in our lives, and that includes from ourselves. One of my favorite bloggers has a great post on this: read it here from Amanda at Dirt and Boogers! Allow yourself to make mistakes, then allow yourself to move on. This will keep you focused on making good choices in 2017!
Be more informed
“I subscribe to Eat My Science!”
Knowledge is power. We tend to take information, especially regarding our food and nutrition, at face value. We trust that the people (and corporations) who “know” about this stuff will give us accurate information. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Our health as a population is declining, which means we are doing something wrong. Your personal health is now your own responsibility, and you need someone you can trust to help you sort through all the information out there today. Resolve to become a better-informed consumer by subscribing to Eat My Science! In 2017 we will journey together to become smarter and healthier.
I love setting new goals for the year – the beginning of the year seems like the perfect time to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming. This year was especially satisfying for me because the first of the year was on a Sunday. That gave me a strange sense of satisfaction.
Do you make new year’s resolutions or new goals for the year? I’d love to hear what health goals you have set and how I can help you achieve them in 2017! Post in the comments below!