Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Surefire tips to keep your 2017 New Year’s resolutions on track.

Happy New Year! It’s time to dust off the healthy-eating cookbooks in the kitchen, click on that personal budget software icon that has been sitting dormant on the background of your computer since last January and remove the clothes hanging from the handles of your treadmill. According to a group of passionate number people at the Statistic Brain Research Institute, Americans are taking these steps and more to make 2017 their best year yet. In fact, of the more than 1,500 people who responded to the Institute’s poll, more than 21 percent cited losing weight and healthier eating as the top resolution for 2017. Other top resolutions for 2017 include life and self-improvements, better financial decisions and quitting smoking.

Unfortunately, the resolution story, like many other stories, does not always end happily. The truth is, while people often start the new year with good intentions, they seemingly run out of steam as time goes on for many reasons, and their resolutions, like the past year, quickly become ancient history. But fear not intrepid (albeit chronic) resolver, we are here to provide expert tips on how to ensure that 2017’s resolutions will not rear their figurative ugly heads in 2018.

Eating healthier ranks high among New Year's resolutions. Credit: Rustic White Photography

According to Annie Lin, life coach and founder of New York Life Coaching, when making New Year’s resolutions, it’s best to pick one area in your life that you really want to improve or change, write it down to reinforce the commitment and brainstorm the actions needed and make a plan. “In general, it’s easier to stay focused with one resolution at a time so it stays front and center in your mind,” she says. “As the adage goes, ‘if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.’”

Once your resolutions are made, it’s important to stay focused on achieving your goal. To make this happen, Lin suggests keeping your eyes on the prize by practicing the feeling of achieving the goal; adding accountability by teaming up with a friend who is working toward similar goals to check in and support each other; hiring a life coach or asking friends and family for support; or creating a plan and scheduling action items into your calendar so they are a priority and will get done.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

Another way to achieve your goal is to make it fun, so you’ll actually enjoy the process. For example, if getting in shape or exercising more is your resolution for 2017, why not research fun activities that incorporate fitness? At Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa (Paradise Valley, AZ), for example, fitness and fun go hand-in-hand with its new lineup of fusion yoga classes and Zennis, which is a combination of yoga and tennis. “In keeping up with trends in the fitness industry and to make sure we’re keeping guests engaged with fresh content, we have added fitness fusion classes, such as TRX Yoga and Vinyasa Reformer to the class roster,” says Barbara Murphy Shannon, spa manager at Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa. “Zennis, one of our signature programs that’s led by Sanctuary’s tennis pros, is a movement-based tennis clinic with a Zen component to promote relaxation, proper alignment and fluidity.”

Hope to spend less time on the phone and other electronic devices this year? It’s easier said than done these days, but some restaurants and other businesses give customers and visitors an incentive to put the phone down. For instance, Element Boston Seaport encourages guests to go offline by asking them to hand over their cell phones for their entire stay. The hotel provides these guests with a tip sheet on things to do in the city that don’t require the use of a cell phone, like riding a bike and joining other guests at the hotel’s evening receptions. Those who make it until checkout earn a free stay to be redeemed at a later date.

Element Boston Seaport

“We’ve been open for a year and have seen many guests utilize the hotel’s amenities,” says Anna DeLeo, director of marketing and communications for Element Boston Seaport. “We’ve received consistent feedback that the experience at the hotel is more than a place to stay, but a place where guests can live their lives as they would at home. While we’re just launching the Disconnected Stay package, we anticipate success given the recent movement toward wellness and mindfulness. Now more than ever before, we live our lives online and are finally realizing that in our desire to capture moments using our devices, we are missing those very moments as they happen. I think as a nation we are trending more toward ‘disconnecting to reconnect,’ so as to revitalize our relationships with nature, those around us and ourselves.”

If eating healthier is a goal this year, consider joining a cooking class to motivate you. The Cooking School at Natirar (Peapack, NJ), a historic estate on 500 pastoral acres, offers an extensive, daily curriculum that focuses on seasonality and sustainability. Much of the produce used is harvested on Natirar’s own 12-acre sustainable farm. One example is the Cooking for Wellness class, in which a registered dietician demonstrates preparation of whole grains and abundant fresh vegetables. Attendees prepare a number of healthy dishes, including gingered tomato soup with butternut squash and brown rice, multi-grain crackers with olive oil and rosemary, whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower sauce, spaghetti squash with lemon, ricotta and basil chiffonade, and carrot and oatmeal cookies…yum!

The Cooking School at Natirar

These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate fun and new adventures into your New Year’s resolution. Whether you choose to partake in any of these ideas or activities, or go about achieving your 2017 resolution another way, it’s important to come up with a specific plan and stay focused to achieve your goal. “A clearly articulated goal is much more achievable because you can then plan specific actions to make it happen,” says Lin. “It helps to track your progress and obtain a sense of moving forward and gaining momentum.”

Now get out there and tackle those 2017 resolutions with confidence. You got this!

Of course, you don't have to wait unti New Year's Eve to make resolutions. You can make positive changes at any time. With this in mind, check out the benefits of doing charity work, and tips to work out while balacing a busy schedule. And if you want to eat healthier, we have recipes to make baked ziti with whole wheat pasta and a chicken with vegetable stir fry.