Start small: Make resolutions you think you can stick with. If you want to make a resolution to go to the gym more, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of an unrealistic seven. If you would like to eat healthier, replace your dessert with something else you enjoy, such as fruit or a granola bar, instead of looking at your diet as a form of punishment.
Change one behavior at a time: Unhealthy behaviors develop over a period of time. Therefore, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, just try changing one thing at a time and don’t give up on it.
Talk about it: Share your journey and experiences with family and friends. Consider possibly joining a support group such as a workout class at the gym or a group of friends dieting as well. Having someone to share both your struggles and success with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle a lot easier and less intimidating.
Don’t beat yourself up: Perfection is unattainable. Remember that little missteps when achieving your goals is normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you had a piece of pizza and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because your schedule was too busy. Everyone has ups and down; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
Ask for support: Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to reach your goals alone, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connections between the mind and the body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.