As we approach the end of January, it’s the time when our best intended New Year’s resolutions seem to taper off. Our hopes of forming fabulous new habits to find our best health may unravel a bit as the winter drags on. But it’s never a good idea to give up all together. You can harness those great intentions and create good habits. How to stick with these new habits and forming solid routines is the challenge.
As doctors who talk to patients every day about their habits, we’ve got a few good take homes to help all of us find ways to keep up our routines:
We tend to want to transform our lives in one fell swoop. You may be thinking “this is the year to loose weight, get healthy, clean up my house and get a new job”. Those are all wonderful goals, but perhaps not easy to attain if approached all at once. Setting small, attainable and realistic goals is much more doable. For example, this year I will: exercise 20 minutes 3 times per week, eat dessert less, start taking the right vitamins, clean your closet, and contact 3 people to explore new job opportunities.
Partner up (people or item):
It’s always easier to do things with someone or something else. This can mean finding a friend to walk with or a family member to help change your eating at the same time. This can also mean pairing your new habits with an object to help make them part of your routine. That could be putting your vitamins with your toothbrush or coffee maker. It can also mean using technology to help you such as alarms and reminders on your phone. It could mean not allowing yourself to buy that new piece of clothing you want until you clean out your closet.
Plan for mistakes:
We are not perfect. We are all human and make mistakes. The real success is if we can overcome these small failures and still push on with our new habits. Just because we fall off of our habits does not mean we can’t resume them the next day. If you’ve lapsed in your efforts, don’t throw in the towel! Even one day of doing something you intended is an achievement. So find another time to do it again. Likewise, know that these things are going to happen and have a plan ready for when this happens. I.e. “I missed my workout for the last three days because of a busy work week” but I will wake up early tomorrow and start again.
One of the best ways to solidify new habits and to ensure that you will continue them is to reward yourself. This will both make you feel good about your accomplishments and either subconsciously or consciously encourage you to keep doing them. Some habits are inherently rewarding. For example, cleaning a room may make you thrilled to spend time there. Or some habits feel good physically once completed, such as a good work out. Walking with a friend is inherently enjoyable. Taking your vitamins regularly may give you a sense of health and well being as well as ultimately lead to feeling better. However, sometimes keeping good habits is challenging and the rewards are not immediately apparent. In these cases we advise finding your own reward to add the routine. I.e. celebrate your work out with a nice warm bath or a healthy yet delicious treat (not a double cheese burger that nullifies your efforts). Make the habit of taking your vitamins a moment of solitude and peace to start your day with your favorite cup of coffee. Perhaps, taking steps toward that new job, entitles you to plan that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. The bottom line is, having even mini celebrations is a great way to keep telling yourself to do the right thing.
Take A Small Step
You may have grand plans but aren’t quite sure of your exact way to get from A to B. You may have so much you want to accomplish you don’t know where to start. Take a step, any step to get going. The rest may fall in to place. If your goal is to get healthy, take a step such as a personalized multivitamin. This is an easy, doable habit that can be the most effective jump start for the year. Taking the right vitamins in one single pill can be a simple step that gets you feeling better and more motivated to alter your diet and lifestyle. Find out what the easy next step is with our vitamin quiz.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin quiz now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.