If you're one of the millions of Americans who will make a promise to improve yourself this new year, there's bad news: 92 percent are likely to fail in sticking to resolutions, says a recent study from the University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology.
"Of course, those statistics represent the average — you don't have to be average," says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic, (ayurvedicscience.com), which provides complementary and alternative medicine.
Sodhi, author of the new guide, "Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions," (ayush.com) offers these tips for staying true to your goals.
1.Get away from the instant-gratification mentality and avoid unrealistic goals. Don't expect to go from zero to 60 — 60 being your ideal body image — in just a few months, especially if you have little background in training. Health is a long-term labor of love; commit to the love and wait for results.
2.Establish good habits. People make resolutions because they know they're important, but they're hard. With each passing week, more people drop their promises for self-improvement. You'll want to set the right goals. If you want to lose 100 pounds, focus on the first 10, and then the next. Make sure to establish new and good habits — it takes about 28 days to stick.
3.What you should expect from your "labor of love." Frequency, intensity and time — these are the three investments you'll need for losing weight or gaining muscle. As a general rule, exercise at least 30 minutes three to four times a week. Make sure to start with the appropriate intensity for your health. Too little intensity and you'll see limited if any results, but too much and you'll be prone to quit.
4.Solidify the gains with persistent positive reinforcement. Learn to reward yourself in a new way by paying attention to the gains in your body. Notice the improvement in stress levels, breathing, energy, sex life, mood and overall strength. While these improvements are wide-ranging and palpable, they increase over time and can be subtle.
5.Embrace supplemental support. Of course, all health efforts are connected to your overall well-being. When you make the investment to eat more vegetables, you're reinforcing your commitment to exercise. Consider practices such as yoga and meditation, which will feed your health kick and provide unexpected benefits.