Featured Expert Blog
3245281?1347043582

Resolve Better

It’s the same old story from one year to the next: We make our resolutions, we flood the gyms in hoards, and we promise ourselves that this is going to be the year we finally get in shape and lose the weight. Yet 25% of us give up by the end of the first week, 36% by the end of the first month, and just 46% of resolvers are still at it after 6 months, according to researchers at the University of Scranton. This year, rather than counting on willpower to make the difference, try one of these proven strategies for setting resolutions that stick. (Hint: posting pictures of supermodels inside your fridge or writing “I will lose 50 pounds” a zillion times over are NOT on the list.)


* Learn from last year.
Think about what you resolved to do last year. Did you do it? If so, good for you. You can stop reading now. (Kidding!) But seriously, think about what did—or didn’t—work for you, and use that experience to better tailor this year’s goal. Did you aim to go to the gym five times a week and give up when you couldn’t reach those kinds of numbers? Maybe twice a week is a better starting point—or even once if you’re starting from scratch. Did sharing a resolution with your spouse keep you on target longer than if you’d been going at it solo? If so, consider doing that again. Turns out that an active spouse can triple your chances of exercising regularly yourself.

* Don’t do it all at once.
It’s easy to succumb to that New Year, new you optimism that this is going to be the year everything changes. But let’s get real. If you ordered pizza more than you exercised last year, you’re not going to wake up January 1st as Fitness Barbie. You’re far more likely to succeed if you start slow and take small, achievable steps. Instead of vowing to walk for 30 minutes a day, give yourself credit for lacing up your sneakers and walking just 5 minutes a day. While it may seem insignificant, just carving out the time and going through the motions is at least half the battle. And remember, January 1 is not your only opportunity to make a healthy change. Consider issuing yourself one or two tiny challenges a month and think where you’ll be at the end of the year.

* Give yourself props.
Yet another reason for giving yourself achievable goals: Getting a win is far more motivating than berating yourself for the workout you didn’t do. So when you do succeed at your goal, the tinier the better, give yourself a hearty pat on the back. Brag to your partner about how well you did. Post it on Facebook and revel in the “likes.” When you see how good it feels, you’ll be all the more likely to do it again.

* Decide on an endgame.
Just don’t make it about what the scale will read next month, or what size bikini you’ll slide into by June. Consider instead, choosing a physical feat to work towards—a race to sign up for and complete, or a hiking or biking expedition to look forward to come spring.

* Set some stakes.
Turns out money can buy motivation. That’s the basis of the website stickk.com, which was developed by Yale economists to allow users to bet against friends on their own goal-achieving success. The idea: You sign up, set your goal, put money on the line, and designate a “referee” to keep you honest. If you’re successful at achieving your aim, you get to keep the cash. If not, the money goes to the referee or to a charity you designate (maybe even a charity you don’t support, just to keep things interesting). It turns out that this kind of a scheme can multiply peoples’ odds of successfully reaching a goal weight by five.


How did last year’s resolutions work out for you? What resolution(s) are you setting this year? Did you make any tweaks after reading this?

Here's to a healthier you in the New Year, one little step at a time!
Natalie

(P.S. Check out these tips from my co-blogger Rachel Meltzer, MS, RD, for making your healthy eating resolutions stick: http://health.walgreens.com/expert_blogs/show/634733/Resolve-Better.)
0 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Post a Comment
Popular Resources
image description
Refill Prescriptions
Refill a prescription from your history. We'll have it ready or shipped FREE.
image description
Walgreens Mobile App
Refill your prescriptions‚ anytime, anywhere‚ with our app.
image description
Prescription Refill Reminders
Set up to receive timely refill reminders via text or email.
image description
Immunization Services
Get the whole family immunized with CDC-recommended vaccines.
image description
Health Test Services
Identify your risk for heart disease, diabetes and more with a health test.
image description
Caregiver Services
Get prescription and home care resource support for your loved ones.
Blank
Weight Tracker
Track your weight over time
Start Tracking Now
Recent Discussions
Avatar_f_tn
It Works Body Wraps 2 hours by kayla_marie18 Has anyone tried it works body wraps? Did it work or no?
Avatar_f_tn
Suggestions? 14 hours by Monellyzza15 Hi, I am 14years old. And sadly, I am obesse. What should I ...
Avatar_f_tn
Losing weight Sep 01, 2014 by Kimmy098 Hello, I'm actually fourteen and I'm kind of very little...
Blank
Exercise Tracker
Track exercise activity
Start Tracking Now
Ask an Expert

The contents of this website ("Site") such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Site ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Walgreens does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Site or other users to the Site is solely at your own risk.

The opinions expressed on this Site in user-generated Content areas including but not limited to: Expert Blog; Communities; and Ask an Expert Forum are solely those of the relevant user, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Walgreens does not review user-generated Content for accuracy, and user-generated Content does not represent the opinion of Walgreens. User-generated Content may contain information about treatments or uses of drugs or products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.