From resolutions to reality: Staying motivated all year long

New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes. People try everything from new diets and exercise routines to committing to improving their finances. With January in full swing, now is the time when most people are seeing changes in their resolutions. At this point, resolutions could be succeeding, falling flat or maybe even becoming repetitive. No matter where you are in the process, there are some excellent tips and tricks out there to give yourself a boost. By addressing some of the key barriers to long-lasting resolutions, you can work to combat the feeling that “maybe next year will be better.”

Let’s break it down. What stops people from making “it” happen? Most people agree it comes down to a lack of time, energy or motivation. Unfortunately, busy lifestyles aren’t likely to change anytime soon. So if a busy lifestyle is inevitable (or at least, highly likely), why aren’t we working to find a way to cope? Great news: We are!

If time is your #1 challenge, try some simple techniques to plan ahead. Every extra minute can add up. For example, prepare meals and snacks ahead of time when you can. This allows you to grab and go or come home and not have to labor over a meal after a long day or order take-out that can strain your wallet. For ideas and help getting started, check out these great resources from IFAS, including how to make convenience foods healthier.

Another way to streamline your schedule is by creating a planner, calendar or checklist. This is a simple way to see your daily/weekly to-dos at a glance. Take out all the time spent on figuring out what needs to be done and spend those minutes doing it! If possible, prepare things (outfits, meals, agendas) the night before to make the start of your day easy, efficient and meaningful.

Okay, so you’ve made a to-do list. What if your struggle is finding enough energy to get everything done? Then, it may be time to adjust your priorities. We all know that sleep is important, but if you’re thinking you are one of those people who is too busy for sleep, read this article to find out just how essential it is for your health and well-being. Tracking your sleep using phone apps or a notebook to see if you are giving your body what it needs can be helpful as well. You may also choose to avoid using blue-light-emitting electronics before bed.

Healthy snacks or vitamins can also be helpful in boosting energy. Instead of a vending machine trip, try snacking on cashews, almonds or fruit or adding spinach, B12/B6 Complex or ginseng to your diet (if OK’d by your doctor of course). For other healthy alternatives, visit the website.

Now you have a plan and hopefully more energy, but are you motivated to pursue your health and wellness goals? There is a thin line between wanting to do something and actually doing it. Add some motivation by journaling, sharing your goals with others to stay accountable and creating a realistic timeline. Let your time, energy and motivation make your 2019 resolution a reality. Accept that you are human and slip-ups happen, but remember that people accomplish great things every day. Don’t wait until January 2020 to say, “Let’s start now.”

Written by Morgan Miner, UFHR Communication Services & WorkLife