3 steps for making healthy resolutions stick

Whether you formally set resolutions for 2017 or just have some goals in mind, you want to succeed. How can you make sure that your resolutions stick this time around?

What health-related goals have you set for yourself this year? Do you want to quit smoking? Exercise more or lose weight? Eat healthier? No matter what you have in mind, know that it IS possible.

Many people fail to achieve their goals for the new year. In fact, researchers at the University of Scranton found that only 8 percent of people who set resolutions ultimately achieve them. How can you make sure you reach your goals — and improve your health — in 2017? Read on for a look at three steps to finding success.

Step 1: Be specific and realistic.

This is a two-part step. First, you need to be specific with your goals. Setting broad goals make it less likely that you’ll attain them. Narrow down your focus.

So, if you’re looking to exercise more this year, resolve to “do some form of exercise for at least an hour three times a week.” If you want to improve your diet, resolve to “add more fruits and vegetables into meals and drink more water.”

There is a caveat here, though, which is where the second part of this step comes in. Make sure your goal is something that you can realistically achieve. Instead of resolving to lose 100 pounds this year, resolve to lose four pounds per month. If you find yourself consistently losing more, you can always set a new goal.

Step 2: Plan ahead.

You’ve set your goals. Now what? Set up a plan to achieve it.

You probably know from experiences in school and at work that you’ll be unsuccessful if you don’t plot out how you’re going to tackle a project. The same goes for achieving healthy resolutions.

With your big-picture goal in mind, plan out what you need to do each week to reach the goal. Write out those bite-sized tasks on a calendar — or schedule them in like appointments — to keep them in front of you.

Step 3: Stick with it. Reset if needed.

Why do so many people fail to achieve their resolutions? Well, in many cases, it’s because they simply quit. They fall off the wagon with the tasks needed to achieve the goal, and then just give up on the goal entirely.

Achieving success in anything requires hard work and perseverance. If your goal falls by the wayside for a little while, pick it back up. Adjust it as needed so that you can attain it. Then get back on the horse and keep going.

Resolved to take better care of yourself in 2017? Add a checkup with your doctor to the list. Find a doctor here.