(NC) The top new year’s resolution is living a healthier lifestyle, but three quarters of Canadians who make a resolution eventually break it — often in the first three months. Instead, experts say making health commitments rather than resolutions is more effective, because each time you make a decision, it’s like doing another rep at the gym, exercising your willpower and making it stronger.
In a new study from Centrum, 48 per cent of Canadians identify evenings as the most challenging time of day to make healthy choices. Similar to how your muscles get tired toward the end of a workout, the strength of your willpower fades over the course of a day.
For better success, commit to these daily small steps to help ring in the new you:
1. Set a daily intention. Drink enough water, take a multivitamin, avoid junk food or take the stairs.
2. Write it down. Account for your daily commitments and actions with a written record.
3. Plan ahead. Pack a lunch for the next day every night before bed. People with a plan are more successful in keeping their commitments.
4. Replace bad habits. Have a vegetable or fruit for your snack, instead of a sugary treat.
5. Book time in your calendar. Schedule a 30 minute workout — it’s as important as any other appointment.
6. Keep things you need to stay on track. Have healthy habits helpers like your step counter, reusable water bottle or multivitamin where you can see them, like on your kitchen or bathroom counter.
7. Set a reminder. Use your smartphone calendar to make things like stretching or drinking water automatic.
8. Tell someone. Let a friend or coworker in on your daily goal so they can check in and keep you honest.
9. Tie it to something bigger. Commit to a larger goal that you can work toward daily.
10. Reward yourself. Recognizing and celebrating progress solidifies your commitment and provides ongoing motivation.