5 ways to recover from resolution mistakes

Many of us enter into a new year with high hopes for our health and wellness goals. Perhaps vowing to exercise daily, getting more sleep or cutting down on your dessert intake were some of your resolutions when the clock struck midnight on January 1. One month later, what happens if you didn’t get the quick results you were looking for or you failed to reach your goals?

Most resolutions lose steam and fail by mid-March, according to research cited by behavioral scientist Katy Milkman, the James G. Dinan Professor at the Wharton School of the Univeristy of Pennsylvania, in a recent CNN article. Like many goals, they seem exciting at first and you feel motivated. A fresh year, a clean slate and a world that could be emerging from a pandemic may have had you pumped up.

Weeks later, the pandemic doesn’t seem to be ending quite yet, and what’s happened to those resolutions? If you’re feeling defeated, instead of throwing in the towel, how about you reboot? Here are five steps to help you reset and reach your goals this year.

1. Assess what went wrong

Many of my weight-loss clients set lofty goals. Goals that are unachievable or near impossible will almost always set us up for failure. When you’re focusing on weight loss, for example, losing weight slowly but steadily is much more sustainable and realistic than losing a large amount of weight at once. Breaking down your larger goal (to lose 20 pounds) into smaller goals (like losing 1 to 2 pounds a week) is a more manageable way to set your expectations and actually measure your progress.

Similarly, if you set too many goals, you can easily get overwhelmed. Instead of saying, “I’m going to eat healthy,” be specific. Exactly how will you eat healthy, when, and where? Planning out your meals in advance, committing to having a protein-packed breakfast, or focusing on eating five servings of fruit or vegetables per day are specific and concrete goals.

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