Revamp Your Routine: Smart Tricks to Stick to Your Healthy Resolutions

The beginning of the year often marks a time when many of us make resolutions to improve our lives, especially when it comes to health and wellness. While these intentions are good, keeping those resolutions can be quite challenging. Here are some tips for making lasting changes, focusing on replacing bad habits with better ones, and increasing your chances of success in becoming healthier this year.

Why Resolutions Often Fail

According to StatisticBrain, 45% of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution, with weight loss and self-improvement accounting for 85% of all resolutions. However, only 39% of people in their 20s and 14% of people over the age of 50 achieve their goals. This data indicates that as we grow older, our belief in our ability to make lasting changes diminishes.

Moreover, only 46% of people are able to stick with their resolution after six months. Breaking habits is difficult and requires courage, willpower, and a strong support system. Still, it’s essential to understand the reason why many resolutions fail, which is often due to people trying to stop a habit rather than changing it. By altering the habit instead of stopping it completely, you can create a more sustainable change.

Replacing Bad Habits with Better Ones

Habits are patterns that repeat themselves again and again, forming neural connections or pathways in our brains that allow us to autopilot through life. The more you do a specific action, the stronger that neural pathway becomes, eventually turning into a habit. Since it takes 21 to 30 days to change a habit, keeping the habit while changing its content can be a more effective approach.

To change the content of your habit, you should first be specific with your resolutions. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” make your goal more explicit by stating, “I want to lose an average of 4 pounds per month by changing the content of my habits, so that I can feel better, begin exercising, and within six months, drop two clothing sizes.”

Changing Habit Content

With a specific resolution in mind, you can now focus on changing the content of certain habits in your daily routine. Here are some examples of how you can modify those habits for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Snacking: If you habitually snack late at night, continue doing so, but replace unhealthy snacks with vegetable sticks, grapes, or bananas. This way, you can satisfy your craving while still making a healthier choice.

2. Eating out: If your work requires you to have fast food for lunch, consider preparing healthier versions of your meals ahead of time or ordering take-out from delis or bistros that offer healthier options, such as grilled or baked items over fried or breaded ones.

3. Drinking with friends: If you enjoy drinking with friends after work or while watching a game, limit your alcohol consumption to one drink at a time, replacing the other drinks with lemonade or iced tea. This way, you maintain the habit of being social while reducing your alcohol intake.

Other methods for changing the content of your habits include opting for poached or scrambled eggs instead of fried eggs, parking farther from your destination to increase the amount of walking, stretching while watching television instead of sitting, and choosing organic food over conventional options.

By being explicit with your resolutions and focusing on altering the content of your habits, you can set yourself up for success and make lasting changes in your life that will lead to better health and overall well-being. Good luck on your journey to a healthier you!