It’s almost time for the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. When deciding to commit to a lifestyle change, some experts argue that it’s best to choose a resolution that can be made in one or two small steps. In other words, break down the big picture. No matter how much willingness or firmness you can muster when deciding to make a large change in your habits, especially if the resolution involves combating addictive substances, it’s best to start the year with a smaller, perhaps more manageable issue. Setting New Year’s resolutions that you can accomplish is the first step in getting to your end goal.
Achieving this first step towards a major or minor lifestyle change enhances self-confidence and increases your success rate. Setting aside time to weigh the pros and cons of your proposed resolution helps clarify the issues that you are dealing with in your life. Writing down the resolution clearly on a piece of paper, and creating two columns underneath (pro and con) aids in visualizing your goal. Factors that you should take into account are the following: time, location and assistance.
Time: By not choosing to tackle an overly large issue head on right after New Year’s, in the hopes of erasing a part of your lifestyle that causes you pain or despair, you have already chewed off a bit of the irritation that you experience. In the case of someone who would like to shed some extra weight, making a resolution to drink water instead of soda or diet soda, is a very good step in the right direction. It breaks the habit of reaching for a soda without thinking twice about the matter and distancing the direct association of “I am too fat” from the resolution. If we focus on the issue of time investment for this resolution, the time investment is minimal. The added bonus to this small resolution is that it will occur often during the day, helping to you to break the habit and conditioning your body to be in tune with your resolution. It might just be surprisingly easier than you think.
Location: You would have to remind yourself that you’d prefer water or sparkling water, which has the desired bubbles, at home, in stores or restaurants, during work and at parties or events. Realizing where you’d most likely be coerced into confirming your resolution may help you prepare to make the effort pass smoothly.
Assistance: In this case, telling friends and family that you’ve made this choice to stop drinking soda or diet soda, lessens the pressure you may feel that you put upon yourself by announcing you’re intending to lose weight. When going out to eat, in lieu of fast food venues, you might want to gently suggest to your friends restaurants with more café type of options, which offer a wider selection of bubbling waters and healthier or more home cooked food on the menu than the chains that automatically serve a carbonated sugary beverage with the meal. Often fast food chains over salt the food so that customers are more likely to drink the sugary beverage to compensate for the extra salt.
As you can see, by tacking a smaller part of the issue in one step you’ve been led to the next step. Resolutions when they pertain to your health and wellbeing should not be restricted to one year. The best resolutions are themselves chain reactions to make you feel better about your life.
By Persephone Abbott