Habits Worth Making

How to stop the yo-yo resolution cycle

by Kristin Smith

“THE MOST COMMON mistake that people make is setting their sights on an event, a transformation, an overnight success they want to achieve rather than focusing on their habits and routines.” – James Clear

It’s the New Year, that means grand intentions of cleaning up our diet, starting a new workout routine and focusing on our health are trending. But after a few weeks, our motivation tends to disappear.

Research has shown that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So if you keep doing what you’ve always done (setting resolutions and relying on willpower to follow through), the odds are against you.

We want to make positive changes, but old habits are hard to break. There’s help to break the yo-yo of the resolution cycle. By trying these daily disciplines you can set yourself up for success.

Learning how to prioritize your day is key to successfully achieving intentions. It begins from when we first wake in the morning until the time we lay down to sleep.

Start with a few of these habits one week at a time. Also, try and achieve them in small increments rather than extreme changes that we know will not last. Be gentle on yourself and know that each day can bring unexpected disruption. You can get back on board the next day, just don’t allow them to fall off the good habit train.

Habit: Eat earlier, lighter dinners

Many of us eat after 6 p.m. when digestion is at its weakest. By moving that time earlier, you’ll sleep deeper, have more energy and keep the body light. Think soups, or a nutrient dense salad. You aren’t looking for drastic changes here, go gradually, be regular and notice the effects.

Habit: Start the day right

Wake up early right before sunrise, and hydrate with two cups of warm water with fresh lemon to increase alkalinity if desired. Move your body and get your blood flowing with 20 minutes of walking or yoga sun salutations. Nutrify your body well with a blended green smoothie or cooked grains like oatmeal with fruit.

Habit: Meditate

For most people, this habit is most difficult to integrate. We tend to think it’s a waste of our time to sit for 15 to 20 minutes while our thoughts perpetually run through our heads. It’s not about removing thoughts, it’s about simply trying to bring awareness to your breath. Choose one time to do a daily practice and set your timer. Once you form this habit you’ll deepen your mediation, and each time it becomes easier.

Kristin Smith is an integrative Nutrition Health Coach with her RYT 200 yoga certification. Kristin helps her clients implement practical lifestyle management techniques for wholistic wellbeing. You can learn more about Kristin at www.kristinsmithwellness.com.