Two months into 2019, most of us have broken our New Year’s Resolution and some can’t even remember what it was. The problem with starting your changes on January 1st is twofold. A) You might not really be over the holiday mindset yet. B) Once you have broken your resolution, it’s easy to give up.
You can feel like you let yourself down and become discouraged when you set a hard timeline for a diet or a goal and then miss a mile marker. Perhaps, a better idea is to start your plan without the pressure on a Monday. There is the old joke that, “the diet starts Monday,” related to the even older, “procrastinators unite tomorrow!” But, according to researchers, starting your new habit on Monday isn’t a way of putting it off, it’s a genuinely motivating action.
A Monday resolution can be a small objective, with less stress to achieve, it can actually be easier to hit your target when you don’t have the pressure. Every Monday is a new start and can act as a jumping off point. Joanna Cohen, director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control, told CNN, “It’s the January of the week.”
As of today, you have 43 Mondays to get a new start in 2019. Eat some fruit, go for a walk, start reading a book, cook a new recipe. Whatever your goal is, you can start the engines now. There is actually a non-profit public health initiative, formed by Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Univ. called The Monday Campaigns. Their goal is to help communities — schools, businesses, interest groups, etc. — to organize and promote health initiatives. Check their website to see if they have any initiatives you would like to join.
JAMA Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine have both featured studies showing that people search for advice on health and diet changes on Monday more than any other day of the week. When you set a goal on a Monday, it’s important to give yourself realist hopes and make the steps manageable. Those significant changes and lofty aims are what trip us up in January. When you start small for example, “I’m going to walk for three more minutes a day,” you can accomplish and stick to it. If you add a couple of minutes the next week, and the week after and so on, you may soon find yourself going on long walks around your neighborhood or finding your errands less of a physical chore.
The most important thing is not to become discouraged if you don’t hit all of your targets in the week. If you break the diet, miss a healthy activity or skip a chore you meant to do, it can be easy to give up on the goal, believing you have messed it all up. Now, instead of thinking, “New Year, New You,” think, “New Monday, New Me.” The Neuliven Health team is rooting for you today and every day! That first Monday step can lead you on a path to health and happiness and we’re cheering for you!
Banner Image: The Brate Group, Etsy