Renewing New Year's Resolutions: How to Stay on Track
The start of February brings to light the topic of our New Year's resolutions - have we fallen off the wagon or are we still on track?
According to research from the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people actually achieve their New Year's goals. But a Kansas State University kinesiologist says that just taking a few simple steps in the right direction can keep us on the road to reaching our goals in 2015, even though January is now over.
"If you start with lofty goals, it's easy to become discouraged if you don't meet those goals right away," said Emily Mailey, assistant professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University. "Start by trying to do something once or twice a week for short durations of about 10 to 15 minutes. Then you can build up from there. This way you can set yourself up to be successful."
The importance of internal motivation
For people who are looking to lose weight or adopt healthier habits this year, having clear reasons for wanting to achieve these goals is important, Mailey said. While everyone wants to feel better and look better, being specific about why you want what you want will help you get there faster.
"Think about your reasons for setting your goal," Mailey said. "Internal motivators, such as wanting to feel better or have more energy, are the ones that are more sustainable because they align with more people's personal goals and values and don't make working out feel like a chore."
Exercise-related goals can also be accomplished in small increments that are reasonable for your daily life, Mailey explained.
"For example, if a parent is taking their child to soccer practice, they can walk laps around the field during the practice to get some exercise."