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5 Steps to Start the New Year Right

Every year, millions of Americans make ambitious New Year’s resolutions. We vow to…Eat Better! Exercise More! Get Organized! Save More Money! And so on.

But for most people, the motivation to keep these resolutions fades after a few weeks. This year, try following these simple steps to create a New Year’s resolution that sticks!  

Reflect and Learn

Taking time to reflect on the past year can help you make realistic resolutions. Looking back can help you realize how far you’ve come and give you perspective on what you would like to accomplish. To get a clearer picture, ask yourself questions like:

What did you accomplish last year?

What are you grateful for?

What’s still a work in progress?

Create a Vision

Having a vision for the future can be a powerful goal-setting tool. You can create a simple and clear statement, create a vision board, or write it in a personal place like a diary. To create your vision ask yourself questions like:

What is the goal or intention? (use the present tense)

What am I doing in my vision? How would I be feeling? Who’s there with me?

What habits or routines support this vision?

Build a goal-friendly environment

The road to achieving our goals is paved by creating an environment that encourages success. You may need to shift your priorities and be willing to adapt to those changes. There may be things that you have to give up, or you may have to create space for new habits or routines. And you need to bring an open mind and the desire to “go for it!” as well.

Set an accountability loop

Checking in with yourself is a powerful way to stay on track and evaluate your progress. Set weekly intentions and consistently assess them. If you’ve enjoyed success, identify the behaviors that inspired it. If you fall short, try to problem-solve to determine what went wrong. Make sure you enlist support (like friends and family) who can also help keep you on track.

Perfect positivity

The final (and most important) part of making a resolution is framing it in a positive way. This helps you focus on the good work you’re doing day-by-day, rather than how far you’re away from achieving your final goal. There will be good and bad weeks, but if you focus on the positives the chances are far better that you’ll stay motivated and keep progressing toward your goal.

Use these simple tips to transform your 2019. If you have a health-related goal or intention, remember that our UPMC Health Plan coaches are here to support you along the way!