New Year’s resolution lists are sometimes as long as a Christmas shopping list and often look pretty much like the resolutions on last year’s list. Our intention to replace unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones in the New Year is a noble one but we often return to what is comfortable and familiar even if isn’t the healthiest. Here are some tips, originally published two years ago by Providence Health Care’s Occupational Health & Safety team, to help make healthy habits stick in 2019:
- Change one behaviour at a time. Are there a few habits you want to change? Replacing unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones takes time so don’t get overwhelmed with trying to change too many things all at once. Ask yourself, “what am I ready to change” and resolve to start there.
- Start small. Is your resolution to walk 30 minutes 5 days/week during your lunch break? Start with a schedule you think you can keep and gradually increase the walking time and # of days. Having smaller achievable goals you can reach along the way will help keep you on track.
- Be specific with your goal! Goals like “I will walk for 15 minutes on Mon/Wed/Fri during my lunch break” are attainable and a reasonable way to begin. Stick with the schedule by coming up with strategies to handle the “what ifs” before they come up. Raining on your walking day? Not a problem, plan to have a rain jacket and umbrella handy at work.
- Ask for support from your friends and family. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, don’t be shy about asking for help or support to get started if you’re struggling to move forward.
- Use tracking tools. there are many free on-line tracking apps and templates available to help keep you on track to help you stick with those healthy habits in 2016.
Don’t beat yourself up if there are missteps but don’t give up either. Unhealthy behaviours didn’t happen overnight and making changes takes time. You can do it – and Happy New Year!