WISCONSIN RAPIDS – First you make 'em. Then you break 'em.
Does that sum up your experience with New Year's resolutions? You're jazzed in January to get in shape, stop smoking, eat better… But by February, your resolution is kaput.
Don’t throw in the towel just yet. You’ve got to stack the odds in your favor. Start with small changes and work your way up to achieve – and stick to – your 2020 wellness goals.
Here are five ways to do it:
1. Don't overreach. Resolving to go to the gym every morning before work is potentially setting yourself up for failure. Getting there two or three times a week is more realistic - and far more likely to become a habit.
2. Be specific. Rather than a fuzzy resolution - for instance, "I'm finally going to get fit" - commit to a clearly defined one. Do you want to be able to finish a 5K? Do a dozen pushups? Walk the hilly streets in your neighborhood without getting winded?
3. Line up support. Pair up with a resolution buddy - somebody with the same or a similar goal. Change is easier if you don't attempt it solo. And spread the news about your resolution. The more friends and family you tell, the more accountable you'll feel.
4. Reward yourself. Did you make it through your first week without smoking? Then spend the money you would have spent on cigarettes on something special for yourself. Are you down five pounds? Why not celebrate with a manicure or tickets to a concert?
5. Bounce back. Don’t beat yourself up if you skipped the gym a couple of times or binged on a bunch of snacks one weekend. You slipped up; but so what? Missteps are normal. And one key to successful behavior change is resiliency. Tomorrow really is another day - it's your chance to get back on track.
Want more information? Tune into the Keep those New Year’s Resolutions podcast on the Aspirus website. To listen, visit aspirus.org and click on the “Podcast” tab under the main menu.
Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 7,700 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. Aspirus was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country. For more information, visit aspirus.org.