By: Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy.D., Red Mountain Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist
Research has shown that only 9.2% of people ever achieve their New Year’s resolutions and actually develop new, healthy habits for themselves.
In order to be successful in achieving your goals, here’s what you have to do:
5 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals:
Choose a goal that is small & specific
“Lose Weight” “Get more exercise” and “Eat Healthier” are broad goals that are easy to stray away from. Instead, choose something specific like “I will walk 10 minutes more than yesterday,” or “I will follow my RM meal plan daily.”
Practice your new behavior for at least 3 weeks
Research shows that it takes 21 to 66 days to create a new habit. Keep reminding yourself that in at least three weeks, your new behavior will become more automatic and natural.
Replace unhealthy habits with new habits
Don’t just think about what you should avoid doing, but rather what you can do instead. Some effective replacement behaviors include removing yourself from the triggering environment and practice deep breathing & doing something that evokes an opposite emotion from the one that is triggering you. Examples include reading a book or magazine, playing an enjoyable game on your phone, going for a walk, or calling a friend.
Spend some time daily envisioning yourself practicing your new desired healthy habits. The more you think about something, and do it, the more it becomes habitual.
Ask for support
If you feel overwhelmed or unable to change on your own, remember that we are here to help! Our team of medical professions can offer strategies for how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors, develop healthy habits, and succeed in reaching your goals.