1. Get your priorities straight.
Every year, I set a few goals, but I use a tier-like system. At the top are goals I absolutely have to complete (this year, it’s being more mindful). Next are those I want to complete, and finally, I set a stretch goal that would be nice to complete by the end of the year (like completing a century ride or marathon). Often, I choose goals based on the previous year and how I can make my life easier or more enjoyable the next year. I recommend taking the time to write down what you want and why. (For example, being mindful helps me re-center and remember what counts in my busy life.) Keep that list somewhere visible, read or look at it daily, and remember the reason you’re taking this journey.
— Brunilda Nazario, MD, associate medical director at WebMD
2. Go easy on yourself.
I view all new habits as an experiment rather than a judgment on my worthiness or skills. Meaning, I don’t beat myself up if something doesn’t stick the first time I try it. Instead, I ask myself: What worked? What didn’t work? And what could I do differently next time to achieve better results? I do this until I have a clear understanding of what stops me from doing something and what keeps me from doing it, then I make sure those conditions are met. If I can make it so action is easy and rewarding enough to do regularly, then I win.
— Darya Rose, PhD, author of Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting
3. Take small steps.
Scheduling small steps toward goals is a key to success. For example, I have set the goal of having dessert only 2 times per week (down from 4 times!) and going to yoga twice per week. For yoga, I will look at my calendar at the beginning of the week and see where I can fit it in. Even though sometimes this is challenging as a working mom, I will try my hardest to get it done. The hope is that after several weeks, it will become a good habit.
— Hansa Bhargava, MD, medical editor and expert pediatrician at WebMD
4. Remember the real goal.
5. Make it a joint effort.
6. Track your progress daily.
I write my resolutions in a daily planner, then review and re-read them every day when I sit down to check my calendar. Each of my resolutions is quantifiable on a day-to-day basis, and I have direct control over my progress toward achieving them. For example, the common New Year’s resolution of “weight loss” is not actionable: You can’t wake up and “do” weight loss, but you can wake up and have eggs with a side of fruit.
— Mike Roussell, PhD, nutritional consultant and author of The 6 Pillars of Nutrition
7. Thank your body.
Research shows that our mindset and overall approach to life have significant impacts on our health and well-being. Every time you hear a negative thought in your head (“I am fat, I am awful”), counter it with a positive one (“I am beautiful, I am wonderful”). It may feel weird at first, but over time, nurturing a positive voice strengthens it. Once you realize how hard your body is working to keep you alive 24/7, it makes sense to support it, giving it the tools it needs to be healthy such as eating a mostly plant-based diet, exercising, and managing stress.
— Samantha Heller, registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and author of The Only Cleanse
8. Schedule it.
In 2017, I will include at least 10 minutes of daily meditation, as well as deep breathing exercises throughout the day. The best way I’ve found to keep myself accountable is through a regular schedule. So I include 10 minutes of meditation at the end of my daily physical activity. That way, I can ensure I work on both a healthy body and a healthy mind on a daily basis.
— Michael Smith, MD, chief medical editor at WebMD
9. Find what’s fun for you.
Instead of making exercise a chore, I do what makes me happy. For me, that means a twice-weekly dance class at my gym. It’s fun, and that motivates me to show up each time!
— Michelle Gielan, positive psychology researcher and author of Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change
Source: webmd.com ~ By: Locke Hughes ~ Image: Canva Pro