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How to Make Your New Year Resolution Stick

With the new year approaching, many people start to form resolutions. However, some studies show only 9% of Americans actually complete them. Living a healthy lifestyle is so important when you have PD. Forming New Year resolutions are a great way to check in each year with how you are doing to stay healthy and to make changes to live healthier. Let's talk about a few ways you can stick with your New Year resolutions.

Pick SMART goals.

SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. When making a goal, first thing is to be specific. If you want to get stronger, don't just say "my goal for 2024 is to be stronger." The vagueness makes it hard to stick with. Instead, start with "I want to make my knees stronger." Now that we are specific, we need to be measurable. How do you know if you achieve your goal is there is no way to measure it? For example, our knees play a crucial role in squatting. So to be measurable and specific you can say "I want to be able to squat with x amount of weight." Making our goals relevant and realistic is super important too. If you have a hard time getting up from a chair, setting a goal of "squatting with 100lbs" may not be that realistic or relevant to your functional needs. Instead, choosing a goal like "being able to stand from a chair while holding 10lbs" is much more realistic. The final piece of a SMART goal is to set a time frame. This helps keep you accountable and motivated. A SMART goal would look like "standing from a chair while holding 10lbs in 5 months."

Track your progress.

You can't change what you don't track. If you want to meet your goals, make sure you are tracking your progress. Keeping track of your progress will also help keep you motivated! Working towards a goal seems less daunting when you have specific measures along the way. How can you track your progress? If you set a goal and the time frame is long like months to a year, try checking in on the same day every month and document your progress. Keep notes on your phone or in a notebook to help remember. Sticking with the SMART goal above (standing from a chair while holding 10lbs in 5 months), to track your progress, every 1st Sunday of the month you might test how much weight you can hold onto while standing from a chair until you find a weight that you cannot stand up with.

Put it on your schedule.

Life gets busy. If you don't make time for what is important, you won't do it. When planning your week, make sure you set time aside for your goals. For example, if your goal is fitness related, pick a few times per week you will exercise and make it a non-negotiable. Plan your day or week around your goals!

Tell friends and family

Telling other people will help keep you accountable. If your friends or family know what your goals are, they can help you stay on track.

Have a positive reinforcement plan

Setting and accomplishing goals is tough work. If it was easy, everyone would accomplish their goals. Staying positive and keep working hard is so important. Most goals around New Year have a positive impact on your health and wellness. Even if you don't accomplish your goals, you are better off for working towards one and trying. So stay positive and keep reminding yourself that all your hard work is worth it!



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