Thursday, January 8, 2015

Keep Your New Year's Health Resolutions (All the Way Through 2015!)

It's week one of 2015, which generally brings high hopes when it comes to improving your health and wellness. Worldwide, millions upon millions join gyms, swear off soda and processed foods, and commit to making this the year they turn things around. But by February, many have already abandoned their goals, and with each passing month, more follow.                                                     How can you turn 2015 into the year you keep your health resolutions? Here are a few suggestions to make 2015 your best year ever:

1.  Move beyond the moment: Step 1 is getting beyond the "time to turn my life around this year" moment and dedicating yourself to the effort it takes to complete any resolution. After all, it wouldn't be on your list year after year if it were easy, right? This is a 365-day process that will have its ups and downs (see step 2), and the quicker you realize that – and still believe you can succeed – the better.
 
2.  Take a few steps back: OK, so ideally, your 2015 will be smooth sailing and you'll achieve all your goals. But as step 1 pointed out, if it were that easy, your resolution list would be blank – yet here we are again, resolving to lose weight, exercise more, etc. Taking a step back means two things in this context: remembering your past (why you're still not where you want to be) and not being afraid if everything doesn't go right this time. Note that this doesn't mean you accept failure; it means you embrace this difficult process with perspective. The No. 1 reason people fail – in just about anything – is because they give up the first time something "goes wrong."
 
3.  Master the selfie: Whether it's done with your cellphone or mental snapshots, become a master of the selfie, tracking the person you were and the person you're becoming, day by day. If it's weight loss you're after, snap a photo every time you see a difference. Looking to stress less? Take plenty of selfies of you enjoying life more – while on that vacation you vowed to finally take, spending a lazy spring day with your family (that never would have happened in 2014, 2013, etc.), or just relaxing in your own backyard on a much-needed day off.
 
4.  Write your 2016 resolutions now: Want to maximize the chances you'll polish off your 2015 resolutions? Write your 2016 resolutions today – and don't mention any of your 2015 resolutions. After all, why write down resolutions that won't be needed anymore? In fact, go one step further by crafting 2016 resolutions based on the person you'll be after completing your 2015 resolutions. If you're losing weight in 2015, resolve to take a vacation to a beach destination in 2016 – and wear that bathing suit you know you'll fit into by then. Trying to eat better in 2015? Then put "Make more healthy meals from scratch" on your 2016 list, after you've learned how to eat right this year.
Resolutions can motivate and empower, or they can just remind you of what you couldn't accomplish year after year.  In 2015, rely on the past, the present and the future to ensure 2015 – and the year after that, and the year after that – gives you a great big reason to smile.

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