We start each New Year with a set of fresh objectives.

This year I’ll read more books. I’ll lose weight and quit smoking. I’ll travel more. This list can be pretty long indeed, but did you know that more than half of all New Year resolutions fail? Most stop working on them by the end of January! What happens is that when you have a long list, you create too many expectations and unrealistic goals for yourself. You cannot do everything at once, so you lose motivation when you can’t achieve any of your goals. Here are three ways to help you succeed in your goals this year.

Three Ways to Succeed in Your New Year Resolutions

1. Your resolutions should be:

Specific: The brain doesn’t comprehend vague ideas like being happy or losing weight, so set specific goals. Think instead about what exactly will make you happy and how many pounds you want to lose. Your resolutions should specifically address these.

Measurable: You should be able to measure your results. If you want to travel more in 2018 than last year, use the number of trips you took in 2017 (let’s say five), and set a higher number for this year (at least six in this case). You can easily count how many trips you take, so it’s a measurable goal. It would also be better to precisely define where you would like to travel to make your goal more specific.

Attainable: If you want to take multiple trips to far-flung destinations, it should be financially viable, otherwise you would be better to make some more affordable plans. Your objectives should always be attainable, or you will simply lose motivation.

Relevant: Resolutions should have relevance to your life, whether it’s your personal or work life. If you do not enjoy reading, setting yourself the goal of reading at least three books this year is not relevant and likely to fail.

Time: Set yourself a period to achieve each objective. Planning to lose 60 pounds is not effective without a set time window. Instead, saying, “I’m going to lose 60 pounds by the end of March” motivates you to get started. Once you meet your target, you can move on to a new objective.

2. Work on a single goal at a time.

It is easier to focus on a single goal at a time and invest all your energy in that. When you succeed, it motivates you to work on another one.

3. Set your priorities.

Change a habit that will bring about the most change in your life. It may even be a minor change in your daily life, but this is a crucial step in perceiving change differently.

Research shows that it takes 21 days to shift into a new gear and 66 days to completely break an old habit. Mastering something new can take even longer. Therefore, as time goes by, celebrate every small change to keep yourself motivated.

As a holistic health practitioner, let me supply some suggestions that can bring about incredible changes in your life.

Five Habits that Will Transform Your Mind and Body

1. Meditate every day.

Meditation is all about concentration and being in the present to redirect your thoughts.

Unfortunately, many people think about sitting cross-legged and singing “ommm” for hours. There are many different ways to meditate, and sitting like that is just one of them. When it comes to health benefits, meditation can:

  • Reduce stress and therefore the symptoms of stress-related medical conditions
  • Control anxiety and mental-health issues related to it
  • Promote emotional health by relieving depression and fostering a positive attitude toward life
  • Enhance self-awareness,
  • Reduce age-related memory loss because it increases memory and mental clarity
  • Help combat addictions by avoiding triggers for unwanted impulses
  • Improve sleep through learning how to stop runaway thoughts from interfering with sleep
  • Help to reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

2. Drink warm water with lemon juice in the morning.

Warm lemon water is the perfect morning beverage, because it helps the digestive system and aids the elimination of toxins from the body. The former aspect involves the fasting process between the last and the first meal of the day. During a fast, the body cleans itself, which we often call a detox. Lemon has the power to detox the body and works as a catalyst in this process. Warm water with lemon juice can also:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Prevent constipation
  • Balance the pH levels in the body
  • Encourage the production of bile
  • Reduce pain and inflammation in joints
  • Strengthen the liver
  • Prevent the formation of wrinkles and acne
  • Aid in the production of digestive juices
  • Help replenish body salts, especially after a good workout

3. Eat only when genuinely hungry.

We live in a conditioned world where we are told, “You should sleep at least eight hours a day. You should drink six to eight glasses of water daily. You should eat three good meals and nothing in between.” Unfortunately, we forget to listen to the body’s actual needs. How many times do you eat when you are not really hungry? How many times have you forced yourself to drink water when you’re not even thirsty? Eating is a reaction to our basic hunger instinct. We eat to survive, yet in our modern ways, we have come to eat as a way to enjoy life, create social bonds, overcome our emotional problems, and so on and so forth. You should understand the difference between emotional eating and physiological eating. Hydrating your body will help avoid eating when you’re not hungry.

4. Stretch your muscles every day.

Just as you brush your teeth to keep them clean and cavity free, stretching muscles is very important to maintain flexibility, increase range of motion, and prevent injury. Daily stretching exercises relax your muscles, increase blood flow, and help your joints. It will also:

  • Fortify your posture
  • Increase your stamina
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Reduce cholesterol (in combination with a healthy diet), thus preventing hardening of the arteries and heart disease

5. Eliminate negativity from your life.

You attract what you focus on. If your mind focuses on negative emotions like fear, worry, and hate, you will draw them into your life. If you change your thoughts, you will definitely change your life.

Change each negative thought into a positive thought. A negative thought is simply that, so do not empower it by obsessing over it. Maintain positive relations with those around you and eliminate any that drain your energy. Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy.

When you feel down, cheer yourself up by singing, dancing, running, calling someone you like, or watching funny videos on YouTube.

Wishing you a healthy and joyful New Year…