For many people, the beginning of the year offers a fresh start to take charge of health and wellness. It’s a time of aspirations and motivation for goals. However, only 16 percent of people are able to keep up with their resolutions. Ultimately, we blame lack of time and life getting in the way for the inability to stay consistent. By early February the majority of folks have given up on their New Year’s resolution.
Successful health and fitness goals start with setting realistic resolutions that are behavior-driven, not just results-drive. It helps to break your goal down into smaller pieces, including a timeframe and a plan for accountability.
For example, instead of making a resolution to have better blood sugar levels, opt for a goal to achieve a hemoglobin A1c level of 6.5% or lower, for example, in six months. Hemoglobin A1c is a blood test that provides information about your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Then, schedule a A1c test at three months and six months to hold yourself accountable. From there, further breakdown your goal by committing to a few behaviors that you can use daily to help lower your A1c such as:
- Walk 15 minutes after dinner every day.
- Eat low-carbohydrate vegetables at lunch and dinner.
- Track your food intake in a food journal or web-based app.
- Read the food label for added sugar, carbohydrates and fiber content.
- Consume meals and snacks on a regular schedule.
- Enjoy a high-protein breakfast.
- Join a prediabetes or diabetes support group.
Break the cycle of setting the same unattainable resolution each year when aspirations are high, but without the proper plan in place. Don’t rely simply on motivation and will power alone to succeed. By focusing on making specific, measurable and time-specific goals propped up with healthy habits you will be much more likely to stay consistent and achieve your health and wellness goals.