Getting healthy, exercising and achieving fitness goals is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the first of each year. But by the end of the first week of January, millions of New Year’s resolutions have already been broken, and by February, the vast majority of those things we made a commitment to change have been abandoned.
Success in achieving your goals requires a commitment to change that goes beyond just naming a desired outcome, whether you are trying to exercise, eat right or simply reduce your stress level.
If you are looking to make a change in your exercise or eating habits, establish a budget, develop a hobby or spend more time with family and friends, you’re more likely to achieve success if you follow these tips:
Understand why you want to achieve this particular goal. Health goals are as unique as you are. Just because your spouse or doctor tells you that you need to lose weight doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Perhaps you want to be active so you can spend more meaningful time with your grandchildren, or wear a special suit or dress to your 50th class reunion. The more specific the reason, the better chance you have of succeeding.
Break down your goal into small, manageable steps.
Changing habits is hard. One accepted belief is that it takes 21 days to create a new habit, but new research suggests that new habits take anywhere from 18 days to 9 months, depending on the level of difficulty. Drinking more water or cutting back on caffeine may be fairly simple to incorporate into your daily routine, while it will likely take several months to work up to walking five miles or quitting smoking. You’ll stay motivated if you can celebrate each mini success, which will help keep you on track for accomplishing the big goal.
Share your goals with someone you trust.
Consider how much easier it would be to get up and exercise every morning if you knew your spouse or next-door neighbor was waiting for you so you could exercise together? Not only is a shared activity more enjoyable, but you have someone to hold you accountable for your actions. You’re more likely to eat a healthy meal or lace up your walking shoes if you know you have someone who will question you if you don’t follow through.
Reward yourself in some significant way throughout the process.
Changing your habits or routine – even if it’s for the better – requires sacrifice. Even if you know that ultimately you’ll look and feel better, perhaps even cut back or eliminate medications or treatments if you attain your health and fitness goals, living with the new habit from day-to-day is tough. Treat yourself to a movie, a new outfit, or an activity you enjoy when you reach a milestone. You’ll replace that feeling of sacrifice with one of achievement, and will be more likely to stick with it long-term.
Finally, don’t get upset if you slip up once in awhile. Remember that one mistake doesn’t mean you have to start over or give up entirely. Acknowledge the mistake, try to figure out what it was that contributed to the backslide (so you can be aware of it and plan for it in the future), forgive yourself and move on.
Active adults are living the life they’ve always dreamed in their low-maintenance ranch-style Windsong home. Each Windsong active retirement community was designed to help Boomers achieve a lifetime of resolutions, with walkable streets and a private fitness center in the clubhouse, neighbors with similar life-stage experiences who make great accountability partners, and home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide an opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!