New Year’s Day is over, but New Year’s resolutions are just getting started. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. Those promises of self-improvement frequently revolve around health, money, love, education or mental health. Sadly, resolutions tend to be broken. The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports only 14 percent of people over 50 years old achieve their goal. While this number is low, it is possible for you to accomplish a resolution.
AARP lists some important facets in creating a new, positive habit:
- Find your trigger. When an actor lights a cigarette in a TV show or movie, do you feel compelled to smoke as well? When you are stressed, do you use food to bring comfort? Do you eat your feelings? These are questions to ask yourself because when you identify what action or emotion causes a bad reaction, you can then consciously avoid that action or become aware of those feelings.
- Exchange bad habits for good habits. The feeling when you plop your behind in a recliner after a long day is amazing, but it only lasts a moment. Instead, increase your endorphins by going for a walk around the block.
- Get support. Ask your friends and family to encourage you or help keep you accountable. However, they should keep a positive mindset and be supportive of your efforts. You can seek professional assistance from your physician, therapist or personal trainer, as well.
Contrary to popular belief, 21 days is not the magic number to reach when making or breaking a habit. In a study published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, researchers found participants formed new behaviors after 66 days on average; the entire range was 18-254 days, which means each person’s journey to create a new behavior is unique. Therefore, it may take you a relatively short time or you may need more time to form a new habit. Either way, it is important to find satisfaction in the little victories on the path to success. While there may be setbacks and relapses when integrating good habits into your daily routine, do not give up or develop excuses.
Taking better care of yourself might be one item on your list of resolutions. If you’re a family caregiver, finding the time to do so can be tricky. That’s where ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care can help. We can provide respite care so you have more time to form those new, healthy habits. Make a call to ComForCare/At Your Side at 800-886-4044 and get the support you need to implement your New Year’s resolution. Our elite caregivers can provide in-home care so you and your loved ones can live your best life possible.