mardi 3 janvier 2017

Some tips for our resolutions for 2017

Here we are again. I know, some of you are saying "Already?" The holidays are over and it's time for resolutions for the New Year!

A U.S. study (University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology) reports that nearly half of all Americans (45%) made a resolution this year... but more than half will break them in the coming months. Indeed, only about 8% ever reach their goals. But why is it so difficult to keep our resolutions?

Here are a few tips to help you make 2017 a year in which you succeed in making and keeping them!

  • Don't try to change more than one behaviour at a time (and a maximum of 2-3 during a year);
  • Take time and carefully choose a "real" resolution;
  • If you really want to change a behaviour, stop and think about HOW to do it: what do you have to focus on to achieve your goals?
  • Our objectives should be "SMART":
    1. Specific (loose how many pounds/kilograms; take what specific course, etc.).
    2. Measurable (eat five servings of vegetables every day, or take a 15 minute walk, three nights/week, etc.).
    3. Attainable (stop overnight or gradually?)
    4. Realistic (lose 10 lbs in a week? Really?)
    5. Timely (reachable by June 1, 2017, for example)

Change, when it occurs is usually accompanied by a process of mourning for what had been (I can no longer eat chocolate while watching a movie, for example). Denial, or resistance, is the first stage of change. The greater the resistance, the more individuals may rebel or abandon (or become demotivated or discouraged). Our challenge is a mental one: to move from “change" to "continuous adaptation" (for example, a strict diet versus adopting a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits).

According to Prochaska and Di Clemente (1999), change is a cyclical process. Thus, the cycle of Prochaska outlines six stages of change: