We’re officially at the last weekend of 2018! Which means now is the time to make a game plan for sticking to those new years resolutions you’ve made. A few weeks ago we covered how to make a new year’s resolution that will actually work; now it’s time to explore how to take action.
When it comes to the science of behavior change, there is a ton of information out there – in fact there is a whole organization devoted to researching this topic. Humans don’t like change; that’s a fact. We might want to change, but we resist it. However, as anyone who has successfully implemented a positive lifestyle change knows, change might be difficult…but it IS possible.
There are certain recurring themes that seem to come up when it comes to implementing a behavior change:
1. Starting small: It’s perfectly understandable to have big aspirations, but pace yourself. A big goal that is a complete 180 from what you’re doing now (think: going from not exercising at all to hitting the gym 6 days a week) is unattainable overnight. If you’re unable to fully meet your goal right away – maybe you only make it to the gym 3 days that week – you’re likely to experience perceived failure, lose motivation, and give up. Instead, set smaller, attainable goals and build on them each week. Relish the small victories!
2. Changing one thing at a time: This might sound counterintuitive, but you should really only focus on one goal at a time. The reasoning is the same as the reasoning for starting small: you want to avoid overwhelming yourself. By focusing on one small behavior change at a time, you’re not only implementing change in a sustainable manner, but you’re building confidence in your ability to follow through. After you successfully make one change a habit, you’ll be more confident in your ability to change overall, and more likely to succeed on your next endeavor.
3. Ask for support: You might be able to do it alone, but why would you want to? It’s much easier to stick to an already difficult change in behavior knowing that your circle of friends and family is rooting for you and doing what they can to help you. Why swim alone against the tide if you don’t have to?
Above all, remember that you are capable of change, and that all of us at Healing Hands Miami are rooting for you, and are here to support your health and wellness goals for the New Year!
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