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2020 is here, and so are New Year’s Resolutions to better your health and your quality of life. Did you know that each year, most people give up on their resolutions before the end of January? Here are 3 useful tips for helping you keep those ultra-important commitments to yourself.

Tip #1: Start Small

There’s something magical about a new year that makes you feel like anything is possible. It’s the reason you fearlessly make big resolutions like losing 50 pounds or going to the gym every day of the week. Though these goals are admirable and may be beneficial to your health, they can feel daunting when you’re three days into the new year and your motivation levels aren’t as high.

Taking a big resolution and breaking it into smaller pieces can help you feel less overwhelmed, and therefore less likely to quit. Setting goals and reflecting on your progress toward those goals can serve as a helpful reminder that big change doesn’t happen overnight, which will make it less likely that you’ll give up. For example, if your big resolution is to lose 50 pounds, setting goals in 10-pound increments can give you progress to celebrate along the way. Taking time to lose the weight also increases the likelihood that you’ll keep it off. So take that big resolution you made when you felt like anything was possible and find a way to cut it into bite-sized pieces, and your chances of keeping your resolution will go way up!

Tip #2: Find Your Support

Any lifestyle change takes a great deal of discipline and dedication, but staying disciplined and dedicated is made much easier when you have a good support system in place. This support can come from anyone who wants to see you succeed in your goals, but there are certain key individuals whose support may go further in helping you stay on track.

Your spouse, partner, or roommate. Have you ever tried eating a salad when someone around you is eating pizza? The smell alone is enough to make anyone want to give in and give up their healthier option for greasy, cheesy, garlicky goodness. Studies show that the person or people you live with can have a great influence on your daily habits, so having their support can be the difference between reaching your goals and giving up on them. It is even more helpful if they participate with you since you can work together to keep each other accountable!

Your healthcare provider. Your doctor can help you in more ways than displaying a poster about the risks of obesity for you to read while you wait for your appointment. Visiting your doctor early in the year and discussing your health goals can help you gain valuable medical insight as to steps you should take to reach those goals. Whether you want to improve your physical health, mental health, or have a specific health issue you’d like to remedy, there are experts in primary care, psychiatry and mental health, and other areas of care at clinics like Mercer Medicine who are dedicated to serving you and helping you live a healthier life. Talking about your health goals with these providers can help you be better equipped to succeed.

Tip #3: Remember Why You Started

This tip is useful even if you’re not on the verge of quitting! Take a moment to list your health resolutions and the reasons you want to achieve them. Revisiting your “why” can boost motivation in many areas: your job, your hobbies, and especially your health. January 1st may mark a new year, but it’s really just another day in the calendar. If you find that you have struggled or failed to keep your 2020 health resolution so far, what’s stopping you from picking up where you left off and starting again? Think about it this way: if one of your car’s tires was flat, would you flatten the other three, or would you fix the flat and keep driving? Changes, especially big changes, to our health and habits often happen in a spiral of progress and setbacks. The most important thing you can do when faced with a setback is to not give up.

As always, Mercer Medicine is here to help you better your health, whether you come to us sick or for your annual checkup. Best of luck with sticking to your health resolutions and having a healthy 2020!