How to Stay on Track with Your Resolutions

January is coming to a close, so for those of us that set a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a great time to check-in. Are you still holding strong? Or are you losing motivation, and need to get back on track? No matter which category you fall into, 9Health is here to help!

We caught up with local health coach Charles Whitmore to ask him about New Year’s Resolutions. (He knows a thing or two about the psychology behind resolutions, since he is also a psychiatry resident at University of Colorado!) Here’s what he had to say…

The Components of a Good Resolution

According to Whitmore, a resolution (or goal) is more likely to hold when they are specific and well-defined. “It’s not getting outside – it’s going outside at a specific time or a specific number of times per week,” he explains. Additionally, a good resolution is realistic, and allows you to check-in with yourself from time to time to tweak it, if necessary.

Don’t Give Up!

If you’re struggling, don’t give up! By the end of January, the majority of resolution-setters have already given up. So if you’re still working towards your resolution, you’re doing great! Whitmore says that when you’re tempted to throw in the towel, you should instead just take a moment to re-evaluate your goal. What is it that’s working? Is it too vague? Is it too specific?

Sometimes writing your resolution down can allow you to easily go back and reflect. Focus on the words you used to describe your resolution, which can reinvigorate your initial motivations.

Don’t Forget to Celebrate

A big piece of maintaining progress towards your resolution is celebrating your success! Celebrate what  you’ve accomplished so far. And when the time does come to celebrate, find ways to reward yourself that don’t derail your progress.

  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Find a new healthy cookbook
  • Purchase new workout clothes

As a bonus tip, Whitmore also recommends finding ways to recreate the “fresh start” feeling that the new year brings. This doesn’t necessarily mean shooting off fireworks and making champagne toasts at the end of every month (but that does sound fun!) Instead, Whitmore brings it back to just being mindful. Take time to check in on the little things you’ve done, and the success you’ve had. One way to do this is to engage in a few minutes of guided meditation to be mindful of your accomplishments and what you’re proud of.

And lastly, Whitmore warns that we tend to focus on our shortcomings – don’t fall into that trap! In moments of reflection and meditation, focus on the progress you’ve made towards your goal, and push the negative thoughts right out.

How do you stay dedicated to your goals and resolutions? We’d love to hear. Share your tips with us!