Stick with your healthy New Year’s resolutions

Build on that early momentum to make them stick

The big, shiny ball dropped in Times Square only a few days ago, so chances are, if you made a New Year’s resolution, you’re still sticking with it!

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, eliminate unhealthy snacks or cut back on social drinking, the New Year is a popular time to make the commitment. Sticking to that commitment, however, can be difficult.

Unfortunately, by the time the calendar turns to February, odds are the majority of resolutions are long forgotten and abandoned.

Here are a few tips to help you remain motivated to make healthy choices when it comes to those resolutions.


Try, try again

Nobody’s perfect. Most people encounter a misstep along the way. The worst thing you could do is give up after one small gaffe or step backwards.

If you quit smoking and couldn’t resist the temptation to light up, regroup and try again. Same goes for having a lapse and indulging in too many snacks or fried food. Get back on that diet. Don’t give up.


Set realistic goals

You might want to lose 50 pounds. But such weight loss won’t happen overnight. Set attainable goals of losing a few pounds each week. Watch the diet. Exercise.

Remember, change is difficult, especially after we’ve gotten into a pattern or habits over weeks, months and even years. The best way to adopt new, healthier habits is to take so-called “baby steps.” Start small and work your way up.


Remind yourself

Reminders are an integral part of establishing a new habit. Make sure to set reminders, whether you do so the old-fashioned way with a written message on a post-it paper or if you go high-tech and put the info into your Smart Phone or laptop.

Reminders encode your new habit into something that you already do.

Drink your daily cup of coffee. Shower. Brush your teeth. Take a walk. It’s part of the routine. You might use these simple actions to remind you to do another healthy act, such as take a vitamin when you sit down for coffee, or do a few simple exercises before you walk.


Prepare to adapt

Sticking to your new habit or routine is easier at the outset. You’re pumped up. You want to make a positive, healthy change.

It is also easier to attain your goal when everything is going well. You have a consistent routine.

But life sometimes gets in the way. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. Be ready to adjust your schedule or improvise your routine. You might have to reset your expectations. Just don’t give up.

These are a few tips to help you stick with those healthy New Year resolutions.