By Jason Bessey, DO
Last week, I talked about both the enthusiasm and the disappointment that can accompany the age-old tradition of setting healthy New Year’s resolutions. The fresh, new year holds so much promise and we get excited about the possibilities of finally kick-starting our plans for a new-and-improved self. And then, sometimes, for some of us, all of that good cheer is replaced by disappointment and self-doubt if we end up giving up on our resolutions.
BUT…there are ways to avoid letting your well-intended goals slip through your fingers. As I mentioned last week, it’s important to be realistic with the scope of your goal and it’s important to remember that absolute goals – which have you giving up something entirely or taking on something audacious without exception – should be tweaked to provide for at least a little wiggle room. Give yourself some grace, and it will go a long way!
And here is my third tip for making a healthy resolution that is likely to lead to continued personal fulfillment down the road:
Make a long-term commitment
Willpower is such a powerful thing. The discipline to push ourselves to do something enriching like start a new exercise routine, volunteer at a local nonprofit agency or learn a foreign language can be incredibly empowering. Not to mention the rush we get when we stay committed to this one task and see it through to completion! But let’s be real: maintaining our dedication to a long-term goal is no walk in the park. As humans, we’re great at accomplishing short-term commitments, but longer-term goals are harder for us to stick to. Case in point: January is the busiest month of year at the gym and February is usually the slowest. We tend to go all in for that one month and then simply burn out. The biggest challenge, then, is reigniting that motivation flame when it starts to dim.
To combat this for myself, if I see that I am starting to veer from the path of wellness, I make a concerted effort to recommit to my goal at the beginning of each month. Think of willpower as a muscle that needs to be exercised just like the rest of your body: exercising your willpower means reevaluating and renewing your dedication on a regular basis. This is the challenge of a long-term commitment but also the crucial key to succeeding with any big-but-achievable goal.
I encourage you make a long-term commitment this year. To make this year’s resolution stick, start exercising your willpower muscle now in preparation for January!
This weekly sponsored column is written by Jason Bessey, DO, a physician at Shawnee Mission Primary Care – Blue Valley. Dr. Bessey and his wife, Lauren Bessey, DO, are passionate about overall wellness and they treat patients of all ages at their south Johnson County office. SMPC-Blue Valley is temporarily located inside Centra Care Shawnee Mission Urgent Care near 135th & Antioch; in March, the practice will move to Shawnee Mission Health’s new Overland Park campus near 159th & 69 Highway. To make an appointment with either Dr. Jason or Dr. Lauren, visit SMPC-Blue Valley’s website or call the office at 913-373-2230.