Making New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

Most Americans make some kind of resolution at the start of the New Year. The start of a fresh calendar is a chance for us to create some new and lasting habits to improve our health. Unfortunately, more often than not, New Year’s resolutions end up strewn by the wayside long before spring has even arrived.  The problem often lies with the fact that we aim too high. If you’re not working out at all, hitting the gym 7 days a week is a hard goal to hit, just like dropping all the treats you love at once can be too much to handle.

So how do you create a resolution that will have an impact that you can actually keep? It’s important to push yourself, but to also set realistic goals. Here are some of the most popular resolutions and how to make them work for you so you can have a healthier 2011:

Lose Weight and Get Fit – This is probably the most popular resolution of all. Instead of trying to keep up the pace of exercising every single day, start making smaller changes. Resolve to take the stairs every day, or to park at the end of the parking lot when you’re out shopping so you walk more. Try exercising every other day, and work your way up from there. Check in every month and if you are hitting all your goals, set new ones.

Quit Smoking – The dangers of cigarettes are well documented, but knowing why they are bad for you doesn’t always make it easy to quit. In 2011, resolve to do a few smaller steps. Resolve to reduce the amount you smoke per day, perhaps cutting out a few each week. Resolve as well to review some quitting programs and tools. Finally, resolve to tell friends and family about your desire to quit. If you have someone rooting for you and helping you stay accountable, it can help your progress.

Eat Healthier & Diet – Just like exercising, it’s next to impossible to go ‘cold turkey’ with a new diet. Make a calendar of healthy eating for the year and resolve to make small changes each month. By the end of the year, you’ll have completely revamped the way you eat!  Do things like taking some time to understand food labels, drink more water or add more veggies to your diet, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.

Spend More Time With Family – We all want to spend time with our parents, siblings and children. The benefit of having involved mothers and fathers starts at pregnancy and continues throughout childhood.  Whether it’s carving out 15 minutes at night to read the kids a story, or planning an extra family activity one weekend a month, being more involved with your family will make everyone happier.

What are some of your new year’s resolutions and how do you plan on making them a reality?