Setting Yourself Up for Success – Healthy Habit Forming
Setting Yourself Up for Success
Each year many people approach the New Year with hope, goals, and a vision for how they can improve in the coming year. This is also a time to reflect on the previous year and learn from mistakes and challenges faced. Did you know, approximately 40% of all New Year’s resolutions fail by the end of the first month? A 2014 study, stated that 35% of those who failed their New Year’s resolution said they had unrealistic goals, and 33% did not keep track of their progress. The It’s Time Texas Community Challenge is a perfect opportunity to address both of these contributors to a high fail rate and help you set yourself up for success in the New Year!
Working towards a big goal that requires large amounts of time and routine change can be challenging. These sorts of goals are often hard to get off the ground let alone be successful with.
For example, a goal setter, we can call him Joe, never exercises. He is very busy, and often doesn’t feel like he has the time. For 2023 Joe has decided enough is enough! His goal is to be physically active for 30 minutes every day, and some days longer. Joe may find it hard to get started on this goal, and doesn’t feel prepared to work towards his resolution.
When looking to set a goal or resolution, try one of the following strategies –
Stacking healthy habits
Finding a way to integrate a new habit along with a task or activity you already have built within your routine is a simple strategy known as stacking habits. Think about the routines you count on throughout your day, brushing your teeth, washing dishes, even drinking a cup of coffee before heading to work. Find opportunities to slip your new habits into your already established ones.
Joe likes to talk to his friend on the phone a few days each week. Instead of chatting away while lying on the couch, Joe may decide to walk at a local park while talking on the phone instead.
Stacking habits allows the habit to integrate into your everyday routine without upsetting your schedule.
Having a bigger long-term goal in mind can help focus your efforts, but it’s important to think of that as an overarching goal because it can quickly become overwhelming. Instead of fixating on the big goal, start small. Working towards achieving smaller goals is more sustainable, and can actually lead to increased motivation. Joe has a long-term goal of being active every day. He is overwhelmed by where to start. He has decided to set a smaller goal, of going for a walk 2 times a week. Once he feels comfortable with that new habit he plans to increase his goal to be physically active 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
Starting small, and increasing or growing your goal over time makes the overall goal seem much less overwhelming. It may help to break down the entire larger goal into smaller steps, so as you work on forming the new habit you know what the next step will be.
Log Your Habits
One way to combat feeling your goal is unachievable is by tracking your progress. Seeing your success in the log, and considering where you started vs. where you are now can help counter negative thoughts that might lead to failure. In the past, Joe has not taken time to be physically active, and when he has it was never consistent. This time is different! He is noticing that his walks are longer and more frequent as he looks through his log. This has motivated him to keep it up!
Throughout the challenge we will discuss other strategies to help keep you motivated and consistent while forming new habits. Some topics include the importance of social support, how to get moving without a gym membership, lowering your risk of chronic disease through habit change, and more.
The Community Challenge begins Monday, January 9th, 2023. If you haven’t already, download the app and register! Join us, and “Joe” as we work on building healthier habits together!
Learn more about the Community Challenge HERE!
Date Posted: 1/6/23