With the New Year upon us, many of us may find ourselves making resolutions that we secretly fear will never come to fruition. But that does not have to be the case. The HealthyTokyo team has some suggestions that might actually help you stick to those resolutions.

By Michael Bobrove

1. Be Honest

What is the one thing you would like to achieve for yourself that has always been on the back burner? This should be what you WANT to do, not what you think you SHOULD be doing. Take some time to consider what this is, and do not be tempted to make impulsive resolutions over the New Year’s toast. Be honest about what truly motivates and excites you.
Committing to lose a lot of weight only through a heavily restrictive diet is simply unrealistic, especially if you are passionate about good food. Perhaps changing every third meal to a delicious low-carb or vegetarian one will keep you on track—without missing out on a culinary experience. Likewise, promising to run on the treadmill several times a week is not sustainable if you find it boring! Alternatives include social exercises like CrossFit or Zumba, which offer more variety to keep you interested.
In addition to listing your goals, you may want to include what can stand in your way. For example, if you are not an early riser, avoid resolving to run before work. Instead, consider finding a running partner in the office, who might like to do it over lunch or at the end of the workday.

2. Keep That List Short

Instead of an overly ambitious list of 12 resolutions, why not keep it to three or even one that you would like to achieve next year? Being successful at a few commitments gives you greater confidence to achieve more, and truly focus on doing them well. After all, more goals may be added if resources allow!

3. Don’t Go It Alone

You don’t have to do it all on your own to make it happen. Try sharing your New Year’s resolutions with your co-workers or closest friends. It has been found that people are more accountable to their goals when they involve their community. If you’re looking to get fit next year, a personal trainer can help you get started and stay motivated.

4. Plan To Make It Happen

Do not be tempted to sign up for the first gym you set your eyes on. Go for a tour and find out if the gym offers classes you enjoy and are aligned with your fitness goals. If you’ve got a specific fitness goal, doing concrete research and consulting experienced people can help you find out more about how to make it happen.
For example, participating in a marathon involves more than just a lot of running. Talking to seasoned runners can reveal that while training is important, physiotherapy support is equally important for adequate body recovery, and better conditioning and performance leading up to that marathon day.

5. Nobody’s Perfect

It is just as important to be kind to yourself as it is to be accountable. Don’t get discouraged if you miss one yoga session; plan instead to make it for the next one. Remember: a New Year’s resolution should be a long term goal. You have one year to make it and keep it. However, if your research reveals that your goal might not be achievable within the year, consider making it a two-year goal.

6. Reward Yourself

Above all, don’t lose sight of the big picture—resolutions are about improving your general well-being and savoring what life has to offer. While you are making that list, be sure to throw in a commitment to treating yourself from time to time. That may well come with trying something new like a Thai massage, disconnecting yourself electronically from the rest of the world with a spa retreat, or simply rewarding your senses with a luxurious meal.
Regardless of your resolutions, enjoy the year ahead!

Michael Bobrove is CEO of HealthyTokyo.com, your guide to Japan’s best health and wellness providers. They spend thousands of hours locating, visiting and screening high-quality, foreigner-friendly health and wellness facilities. Users get free access to their extensive network, useful info for healthy living in Japan, and special offers.