Evidence-based Strategies to Achieve Resolutions
As each New Year rolls around, people everywhere set resolutions with the aim of improving their physical fitness and mental health. However, sticking to these resolutions can often prove to be a challenge. A Forbes survey unveiled that the top resolutions include eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight. So, how does one stick to these resolutions and make them a part of their lifestyle? Research suggests the creation of routines is key to encouraging desired behaviors and achieving goals.
Moreover, the effectiveness of these strategies is not limited to health-related goals. They are adaptable and can be applied to any personal goal, thereby providing a comprehensive approach to self-improvement.
Three Alternative Approaches to Resist Temptation
Conventional wisdom suggests that focusing on long-term consequences can help resist unhealthy choices. However, recent research proposes three alternative approaches. First, prioritizing short-term consequences can prove to be more effective in resisting temptations. For instance, instead of focusing on the long-term health impact of junk food, emphasizing its immediate costs, such as feeling lethargic or unwell, can deter unhealthy eating.
The second approach involves finding enjoyment in long-term choices. This can be applied by focusing on the good taste of healthy foods, rather than just their health benefits. The final approach suggests rewarding oneself continuously for sustained persistence, using small, regular rewards to cultivate a long-term commitment to healthy behaviors.
Making Good Habits Stick
According to experts, making good habits stick involves considering priorities, defining ‘why’, thinking about identity, and prioritizing the process over the outcome. Letting go of perfectionism, identifying cues and pinch points, and creating accountability are also crucial aspects of habit formation. The process can take at least two months to embed in the brain’s automatic system, highlighting the importance of patience and consistency. Moreover, habits should be meaningful and align with one’s values and priorities for them to stick.
Forming New Habits and Breaking Bad Ones
Research also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right habits that align with your goals. Patience is key in this process as forming a new habit takes time. It’s essential to understand the difference between forming good habits and breaking bad ones. Breaking down big habits into smaller, more manageable goals can make the process less overwhelming. Writing down these goals can further clarify objectives and enhance focus.
Research-based Tips for Increasing Physical Activity
When it comes to increasing physical activity and improving health, setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, also known as SMART goals, is crucial. Starting with small, manageable activities and gradually increasing the workload can make the process more achievable. It’s important not to try to do too much at the beginning. Tracking workouts and progress, and rewarding oneself for achieving goals, can boost motivation and commitment.