This is when you should actually get started on your New Year's resolution
If the idea of tackling your resolutions right this minute sounds scary or unrealistic, don’t worry, it’s not.
So, you've identified your goal, and now all you have to do is wait until the ball drops, right?
But why hold out for a specific date to start chipping away at your resolutions? In fact, why not start right now? After all, by delaying something that's good for you, all you do is delay its benefits, says Paul Marciano, Ph.D., behavior change expert and psychologist. That means fewer days at a healthier weight, less time spent with awesome energy levels, and more time saying, "someday."
Meanwhile, that "all or nothing" mentality of going "on" a diet or saying "I'll start tomorrow," sets women up for failure, yo-yoing, and lots of frustration, Marciano says. For real results that last, healthy living can't be something that you start and stop. It has to be your everyday way of life, he says.
If the idea of tackling your resolutions right this minute sounds scary or unrealistic, don’t worry, it’s not. No one’s asking you to drop everything and run 26.2 miles or immediately cut all processed foods from your diet. All you need to do to create big change in the new year take one small step today, Marciano says.
For example, if you want to eat more healthfully, start by tossing the leftover office party cookies your co-workers guilted you into taking home, he says. Do you want to make exercise a habit? Walk a lap around your office building or take your pooch for a walk around neighborhood after dinner instead of plopping down on the couch.
“It’s all about getting those behaviors started,” Marciano says. After all, doing something, anything, is a step in the right direction, and will help you create sustainable habits that move you closer and closer to your ultimate goal.
Speaking of ultimate goals: As you take more and more of these little steps, laying a foundation for your goals, it's time to turn your attention to your "end" goal. (Note the quotes, because you're never truly done being healthy!)
For example, let’s say you’ve resolved to finally run your first marathon this fall. Go ahead and pick a race that appeals to you. Then, work backward—all the way to today—to see what milestones you need to hit in your training, and when you need to hit them, Marciano says. So even if you only "need" 18 weeks to make it through the finish line this fall, you can finish it stronger and safer if you start strength training now.
So mark your calendar: Your fresh start starts today.
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