How to succeed at the 365 day challenge

Image by Katherine Noborikaka
Image by Katherine Noborikaka

This is the year you’re finally going to do it: lose a few pounds, meet The One, pay off your credit card balance, be a better friend.

Whatever your goal is, right now you’re probably feeling motivated and determined to stay on course. But the sad truth is, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned within a few weeks.


Start Small

Around this time of year, people are so gung-ho for change that they vow to make several lifestyle modifications at once. Bad idea. Committing to one is overwhelming enough, never mind a list of 10.

Think about it. Can you commit to eating healthier while cutting back on spending? Not realistically. Eating healthy is not cheap.

Pick one habit or behavior you want to change and make it your priority for 2016.


Be Specific

Clearly define what you want to accomplish, without the vague language. Many people proclaim, “This is the year I’m going to finally get in shape.”

While those resolutions are admirable, what does that mean? Do you plan to lose a certain number of pounds? Run three miles without rest? Go to the gym every day?

Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “save more money,” set a specific goal—say, lose a pound a week. The more parameters you have, the easier it will be to reach your goal.

Making your resolution is half the battle.


Do It Together

Telling your family and friends about your resolution offers two advantages. First, they will protect you from potential setbacks. In other words, they will steer you away from the snack aisle to something within your diet.

Second, they are your personal cheerleaders. With them rooting for your success, you are more likely to adhere to your resolution.

Moreover, accepting help from those who care about you strengthens your ability to manage stress caused by your resolution, according to the American Psychological Association’s article “Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick.”


Don’t Overreact

Changing behavior is hard work. Don’t give up because you ate a brownie and broke your diet or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy.

Instead, just acknowledge the mistake and get back on track.


Reward Often

This doesn’t mean to eat an entire tub of ice cream because you think that you “deserve it.”

Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution.

If you’ve been sticking to your promise to eat healthier, reward yourself with new fitness clothes. Or if you quit smoking, use some of the saving towards a fancy dinner.

Using apps that award points and trophies for good behavior can boost your willpower to stick to your resolutions all year. Every little bit helps.

The start of the New Year is a great time to turn a new page in your life, which is why so many people make resolutions.

But why wait till the New Year to take charge of your life? Make it a year-long process and take small steps toward your goals every day.


by Deborah Higa, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter