Rekindle your romance with your New Year’s resolution


screen-shot-2018-01-31-at-2-45-43-pmStatistically you’ve already failed.

According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions have been tossed aside, forgotten about or cried over by mid-February.

But I’m here to challenge you: This February, don’t become a statistic. Fall back in love with your New Year’s resolution.

Many New Year’s resolutions are made out of something we call “holiday remorse,” which follows the time between late October and New Year’s Eve when we let healthy habits slide. We tend to eat more, drink more, exercise less, spend more money, over-extend our social calendars and all-around make poor choices. Come Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m., we draw our line in the sand and make a commitment that it all stops. On Jan. 1. Or maybe Jan. 2. Definitely Jan. 3.

You had the best of intentions, but the plan of attack may have been misguided.

No matter what your resolution may be — losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking or focusing on yourself — the commitment you’ve made is a goal. And every goal needs a plan of attack. Here are three steps to help you develop your plan and achieve your goal:

1. CREATE A ROAD MAP: Put thought into how you are going to achieve your goal. Put your thoughts on paper, create a vision board full of pictures and inspirational quotes, or invite a companion on your journey. 

2. IDENTIFY POTENTIAL ROAD BLOCKS IN YOUR PLAN: You know you will face challenges and hurdles along the way; identify them and take time to think through how you will navigate each road block. 

3. DEVELOP A DETOUR PLAN: Backsliding, relapsing, falling off the wagon — call it what you want. You temporary will lose sight of your goal. Plan ahead for how you will get back on track — without beating yourself up about it. 

The third step can be the hardest to overcome. That is when you have to admit you derailed. Forgive yourself, refocus and get back on track, always moving forward.

Vanessa Shannon, Ph.D., is director of mental performance for Norton Sports Health and University of Louisville Sports Health. 

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