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Three Ways To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Did you know the top three resolutions, made like wishes on stars in the hours between December 31st and January 1st, were in regard to weight, diet, and overall health? Here are three ways to help you keep your New Year's resolutions.

If health was listed at the top of your priority list for the new year, there are lots of things you can do to get a healthy you in ’22. If you’re thinking, guys . . . get it together, New Year’s resolution posts were so three weeks ago, we get you, but we’re doing it now because we also get you.

For most people, it’s at about this time where those resolutions start fading away in the rearview mirror. We want to keep you (and ourselves) on track. Staying on track means knowing the direction you want to go and actually going in that direction. But as some say, there is an art to walking in a straight line without wavering or deviating. If you’ve ever played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, you know this to be truth.

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Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics did a study about how humans tend to walk in circles. The research concluded that people require a rather strong focal point to help keep them on the path they intended. New year’s goals seem like a strong focal point—and they are—but sometimes when we rely solely on our own sense of direction rather than a strong focal point, we end up walking in circles.

So how do we avoid the dizzying effects of walking in circles?

Small Choices

Walking in a straight line for one step is much easier than walking in a straight line for a mile. Yet that mile-long-straight-line starts with the single step. Life is a series of small choices, small commitments. Instead of committing to eat healthy from now on, commit to a healthy breakfast tomorrow morning. And remake that commitment every day. Instead of committing to simply be healthier, commit to taking a walk tomorrow during your first break at work. And remake that commitment every day.

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Steady Progress

In the spirit of small choices, don’t try to change up your entire life all at once. That’s like trying to clean out the bathroom cupboard by ripping out all the shelves in the pantry too. The pantry might also need doing but it slows down the progress the bathroom would have seen, and may cause enough frustration to have it all out at once that you just throw it all back in just to get it off the middle of the floor. So if you have a rather extensive resolutions list, maybe narrow it down to a few things first. So if your goal is to get better sleep so you have better health and energy, tackle that goal first and then when you feel like you’re on track for that goal, revisit the resolutions list.

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Keep the Focal Point Strong

How do you walk straight ahead if you don’t know where straight ahead is?

Consider your initial spark of motivation. Was it the ability to get down and play on the floor with your kids or grandkids or to play morning sports with your friends without your joints aching? A goal to improve joint health is definitely a worthy goal but it’s the spark of motivation that keeps the focal point strong. Whatever the goal, remind yourself of the primary focal point. Keep visible landmarks to help guide your journey.

The Great News

Some people think that to make goals is a waste of time since so many people stumble on the way to their desired end result, but there is good news. It could even be called great news. A study done in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that people who make New Year’s resolutions are ten times more likely to experience behavior changes that set them on the path to their desired end result than those who didn’t bother making goals in the first place.

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In the book Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton wrote, “A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else. Plan to run an errand, but never get there. . . And at the end of your life, your whole existence has that same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.”

Keeping your focal point strong helps to eliminate those distractions and "haphazard qualities."

The rollover from an old year to a new year may happen overnight, but lifetime changes don’t work like that. If you want to change the shape of your life, you have to start with the shape of a day. Sunwarrior is with you for the small choices like eating healthy and maintaining or managing your weight.

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