Will you be one of the savvy 20%?
When we hang up that new calendar on the office wall, many of us can easily imagine stepping into a better life. This makes the beginning of the year the perfect time to establish a healthy habit. Yet research tells us that four out of five of us will give up on our resolutions. What secrets do the 20% who are successful have?
Sit Tech, in addition to providing specific techniques to lessen the dangers of sitting at work, teaches habit formation to make these techniques an essential part of the workday. Here are a few research-based ideas from the Sit Tech workshops to help you succeed with your resolution.
Sit Tech to the Rescue
- Pick one.
Dr. Roy Baumeister, professor of psychology at Florida State University, did research that indicates each of us has a set amount of self-control. Like building a muscle, we can increase our willpower by using it. But, also like a muscle, our resolve can tire. Because the more resolutions we make the more willpower we need to expend, Baumeister recommends focusing on only one resolution.
- Make it Meaningful.
Michelle Segar, Ph.D. and motivational researcher, says that the best resolutions are personally meaningful. Doing something because you think you should, dooms you to failure. She suggests involving both your head and heart when you make your decision. Explore your motivation and pick the resolution that connects to you emotionally. Are you planning to move at least once an hour during the workday because your MD gave you a lecture or because you want to have more energy to play with your children?
- Be SMART.
George Doran and his colleagues first explained the SMART goal process in a 1981 issue of Management Review. For a detailed description, visit: SMART Overall, your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Using the SMART process will not only focus your objective, but will also help you develop a plan for achieving your goal. Whatever you decide, write it down and then refine it.
- Plan for setbacks.
Dr. Pauline Wallin, clinical psychologist and author, recommends building in ways to handle missteps. Often individuals give up after one failure. Eating two cookies can lead to the abandonment of a whole diet. When there’s a problem with sticking with your resolution, think about what went wrong. Did you try to do too much too quickly? Do you need to stay out of the break room on Fridays when treats are available? Above all, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to your plan as soon as possible.
the best of luck with keeping your resolutions!
We’ll be back next month with the latest research on sitting and heart problems. As usual, we’ll have suggestions on what you can do to stay healthy.
* Always listen to your body. – If it hurts, don’t do it! – Consult with a health professional about performing any activities mentioned in these tips. Sit Tech does not offer medical advice and is not responsible for use of its tips.