The New Year typically marks the start of a period where we strive to accomplish fitness and diet goals we’ve set for ourselves. This sudden shift in our habits can often be difficult to maintain. Even with the best intentions, we may find ourselves falling back into unhealthy diet habits and giving into cravings within a few weeks or months after the start of the new year. If you’ve found yourself in this cycle before, it might be time to change up your strategy. Try this instead: start working toward your New Year’s resolutions now, in December!
Get a head-start on habit-making
There are no real rules to New Year’s resolutions, which means that you can do whatever you need to for them to stick. Even though December is typically full of sweets and delectable food for the winter holidays, there’s no reason you can’t start building small habits now that will help you keep your resolutions for the next year. Experts say that habits take 30 days to form, so this is the perfect time to start implementing small changes that will make a big difference in the coming months. For example, if you want to make a resolution to cut back on unhealthy food, try out new recipes for healthy holiday dinners and desserts this year.
Small efforts now, big payoff later
Since there’s no rules for New Year’s resolutions, why not start early AND start small? You can make a plan that starts off with a low level of commitment, then continually increases your efforts throughout the year. Making a resolution to work out more? Add just a couple walks or fitness activities to your routine each week during the month leading up to New Year’s, and keep adding more throughout the months after. You’ll end the next year strong after slowly building up healthy habits that you know you can sustain! You can do the same for eating healthier. Introduce one or two healthy dishes to your meals each week, and you may have a whole new diet by the end of the year!
Record what works
Did you make a New Year’s resolution last year? Take this month to reflect on it in a simple journal. If you kept it up for a while (or even the whole year), write down what you liked about it and what made it possible for you. As you enter the new year and start working on new resolutions, keep the journal to document the progress you’re making on your current resolutions. You’ll be helping yourself set success in the future.