Chances are, you’ve heard of the phrase “honeymoon period” when it comes to relationships. This is the period at the beginning of a relationship when feelings of love and happiness are running high and not a thing in the world can bring you down. That’s kind of how I feel about New Year’s resolutions. In a way, they’re the “honeymoons” of making healthy habits. The trouble is, after the honeymoon is over, so is the high—and the healthy habits. There’s a reason you don’t hear much about New Year’s resolutions in June. Just as any long-term relationship needs a solid commitment, making lasting change requires a commitment to yourself and your health. This year, consider these tips to turn your New Year’s resolution honeymoon into a long-term relationship with health.
- Schedule time. Relationship experts will tell you that scheduling special time for you and your partner, or having a regular “date night,” is critical. When it comes to your resolution to move more or eat better, you have to plan time for you. This could involve scheduling your favorite weekly workout class or a daily walking date with a friend.
- Have realistic expectations. Having lofty expectations for a partner or expecting someone to embody all of your ideal qualities can lead to disappointment. The same goes for New Year’s resolutions. Maybe losing 30 pounds in a month or hitting the gym every day isn’t realistic for you. But losing a few of pounds a month and going to the gym 3 days a week could be much more attainable.
- Have a support system. A relationship needs a solid foundation of support to navigate each curveball life throws your way. Your journey to health is tough to go alone, and the support of friends and family can help keep you on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Know that there will be ups and downs. There’s no such thing as the perfect relationship and there’s bound to be some disagreements along the way. Your relationship with health is bound to have slip ups, gains at the scale and maybe even setbacks. What’s important is how you bounce back and what you can learn from each bump in the road.
Take responsibility for your happiness. No one is responsible for your happiness but you. Don’t delay your happiness until you lose those last 15 pounds or fit into a certain pants size. Instead, look at each day as an opportunity to build a better you and celebrate each small victory with confidence and gratitude. Even though the “honeymoon” may be over as the months pass, the relationship with a new, healthier you is just beginning.