12 tips for sticking to your healthy resolutions
2/3/2022 by Danielle P. Johnson, M.S., P.T.
The start of 2022 is not only the beginning of a new year, but also a time for new resolutions for becoming a healthier version of you. But research shows that those well-intentioned resolutions typically don't last more than six weeks.
These 12 ideas may help you stick to those resolutions and reap their results:
- Set your workout clothes out the night before, ready to grab for your daily routine.
- Schedule your workout times on your calendar — and set a reminder. Make your goals reasonable for where you are on your health journey. Start small. Begin with one day a week and work your way up to three or more times a week.
- Consider getting a workout buddy. It's sometimes more fun to work out with another. It also can help keep you accountable. If you can't find a buddy due to schedules, signing up for an online fitness class can help keep you motivated.
- Use a workout or tracking app. Two popular ones are MyFitnessPal and Map My Fitness. These apps even synchronize with each other to gather all your information.
- Have fun. Research shows that if you enjoy your activity, you are more likely to stick with it long term. Go for a swim, cheer when you hit a goal, infuse your fitness with fun.
- Try something new. If your routine is the treadmill, try an online fitness class. Change it up so you don't get stuck or bored. Novelty makes movement interesting.
- Instead of sitting during your breaks, take a walk. Explore new areas near you.
- Remember why you started your journey and don't lose sight of it. Whatever the reason — being a role model for your children, making memories with your spouse, preventing chronic conditions, maintaining a high quality of life as you age, feeling better or being more confident — write it down for inspiration, especially on low-energy days.
- Make a meal plan and then shop at the grocery store to pick up food based on this plan. This will not only save you money and time, but also ensure that you always have healthy food on hand.
- Make time to relax. It's OK to take time for yourself. Self-care helps you stay motivated and energized so you are more likely to stick with your plan.
- Make it family time. Think about playing an active game such as kickball, tag or touch football, or shooting baskets. Go on a scavenger hunt, ice skating or sledding, or set up an obstacle course in your backyard.
- Allow yourself a little wiggle room. You may occasionally miss a workout or indulge in a rich dessert, and that is OK.
Danielle P. Johnson, M.S., P.T., is a wellness physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester. She specializes in combining physical therapy with whole-body wellness, and integrating fundamental and natural movement patterns, as well as practical and playful movement, into daily experiences.