Happy new year to all. It’s that time of the year when we have overindulged during the holidays, reflected on all our achievements and mistakes during the year before and plan to make a good fresh start on January 1st. Well, its January 2nd now – so how are we doing so far?
If like most of the population you felt a bit tender waking up on new years day after a night of partying and you would rather hibernate under the quilt than “enjoy” a wheat-grass smoothy or go for a jog, don’t despair. Today is a new day and it is better to begin now than wait another 12 months to grab a fresh start.
What you need is practical help and this great article from www.psoriasis.org will help you figure out how to achieve your health goals in 2016. About 44 percent of people who resolve to make changes in the New Year actually succeed, according to studies conducted by John Norcross, professor of psychology at University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. And with that good news, here are four ways to make sure you’re one of the successful 44 percent.
1. Plan and prepare.
Set a realistic goal, not a grandiose one. For example, aim to lose 10 pounds and keep it off rather than trying to lose 50. Then, create an action plan to reach your goal, Norcross said.
“Before Jan. 1, think specifically about what you’ll do to counter problem behaviours and practice incorporating those changes,” he advised.
Don’t be overzealous with the number of goals you set, suggested Dr. Will Meek, a counselling psychologist in Vancouver, Washington, who also has written extensively about motivation and goal-setting.
“Research shows that two to three goals should be your maximum,” Meek said. “People who narrow their goals down are more likely to succeed than people who try to do it all. This is why we so often fail at New Year’s resolutions. Ten resolutions are overwhelming. Two are doable.”
The goals that are most needed are “the ones you’re most likely to do,” he added.
2. Bolster self-confidence.
“Having confidence you can succeed is a potent predictor of success, and making a plan builds confidence,” Norcross said. “You see a clear path forward and feel ready to take it.”
Start by giving yourself your own pep talk. “Research on attitude all points to the value of ‘positive self-talk,’ ” Meek said.
Examples of positive self-talk are “I can do this” and “This is good for me.”
“Make something like that your mantra,” Meek suggested. “A goal-focused attitude is important for sustaining effort. You are, in effect, internalizing the support your best friend would give you.”
Once you’ve amped yourself up, ask for support from people who’ve already been successful in reaching the goal you hope to reach.
3. Aim for incremental progress.
Making a meaningful behaviour change is a step-by-step process, Norcross said.
“The idea that you have to make a dramatic change or it’s not worth doing is a set-up for resignation and failure.Self change is a process and a skill, and like any other skill, such as playing tennis or becoming an accomplished baker, improvement is gradual and ongoing, with the key being persistent—but not instantaneous—movement toward the goal,” he said.
4. Prepare for slips and avoid self-blame.
Did you suffer a setback or miss a target? Don’t give up! Expect the occasional slips and plan what you’ll do when they happen, said Norcross. Getting stuck in self-blame is your least productive option.
“In our studies, blaming oneself for slips or imperfect success is one of the strong predictors of failure,” Norcross said. “By self-denigrating, people focus solely on what went wrong and begin to resign themselves to failure.”
He said that slips can even improve self-confidence when you expect and react positively to them.
Meek agreed. “Immediately recommit after a slip-up,” he said. “Tell yourself, ‘Yes, I could have done better today, but I’ll do better tomorrow.”
So good luck and the team at Mediterranean Quality Care Services would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2016.
All content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.
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