Did you make your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions yet? Did you know that by mid-February, 80% of us will have given up on those resolutions? We all start the year off with good intentions of getting fit, eating healthier, de-stressing, organizing the home, spending more time with the family, etc., but those pesky resolutions are so hard to keep! However, there is hope. Learn how to maintain your 2021 New Year’s resolutions in Skagit County with these helpful tips.

PeaceHealth logoChoose Something Enjoyable

Since it takes two months for something to become a habit, it’s no surprise that most New Year’s resolutions fail at six weeks. It’s hard to turn something into a habit, it’s even hard if it’s something you really would rather not do. So, find a way to make your resolution fun. For example, if your resolution is to get fit, don’t just assume you have to go log monotonous miles on a treadmill. There are plenty of fun ways to get fit that could make your New Year’s resolution a “get to” instead of a “have to.” Maybe you want to learn to horseback ride (plenty of muscles used there!), or join the Skagit Bicycle Club.

Eating healthy could mean taking fun cooking classes, virtually or in-person. Or maybe you decide you are only going to shop at local Farmers Markets and Community Support Agriculture (CSA) plans. Going to the market is a fun break from the crowds at Costco and allows for healthier choices of fresher foods.

learning to horse back ride can be a really fun way to be more active in 2021. Photo courtesy: Lang’s Horse and Pony Farm

Of course, de-stressing and spending more time with your family should naturally be enjoyable. But even within these types of resolutions, be sure to choose something that you look forward to doing. This will make it more likely that you will continue through the whole year. So maybe your idea of a fun time with the family is movie night instead of game night – that’s okay! Or maybe you want to combine your getting fit resolution with your family and have a standing Saturday morning bike ride. Choosing something every one likes will make this an easier resolution to keep.

Make a Plan

After choosing something enjoyable to make your resolutions a reality, it’s time to make a plan. Saying you are going to start getting more exercise or eating right is one thing, but having a plan is what will make it stick.

Farm to Table Restaurants in Skagit Valley Nell Thorn Chicken
Nell Thorn is a farm-to-table restaurant with mouthwatering dishes. Their roasted chicken (pictured) is a great choice when ordering to-go. Photo credit: Britt Dussault

Technology makes it easy for us to put things in our phones as a reminder. So maybe you have a reminder set three times a day that tells you to take a break from your computer screen, get up and do some quick stretches. Another reminder says you have your horse riding lesson or bicycle club meeting on Tuesday nights, so you don’t plan anything else during that time.

Want to spend more time with your family? Set them down, pick a day and night for a game night or a family meal, and make sure it’s in everyone’s phones. This way, no one can forget to come. Want to eat better and have a family dinner night? Put in your phone to eat at a farm-to-table restaurant the first Friday of each month.

If de-stressing was one of your resolutions, maybe you want a standing reservation for a monthly staycation at your favorite B&B or nearby resort. This way, the plans are made and you are much less likely to cancel or decide you are too busy.

Have an Accountability Partner

Family Friendly bike ride Skagit County Tommy Thompson Trail Bike Riders
Having someone to do your New Year’s resolutions with can make them much easier to keep. Photo credit: Emily Bylin

Having someone to remind, encourage and celebrate milestones with you is an important part to maintaining your New Year’s resolutions. An accountability partner could be a family member or a friend. They will be there to check in and ask: “Did you do your workout today? How did go?” Even better is a partner with the same resolution, so you can do things together! Whether in person or via Zoom, fulfilling New Year’s resolutions with a friend or family member is much more fun, and more likely to stick.

Accountability partners could also be a professional you hire to help you with your new plans. If your resolution was to be healthier, you might start at PeaceHealth, where a medical professional can help you create a plan including deciding what activities are best for you and what diet makes the most sense. A personal trainer, like the ones at Urban Fitness & Health, can help you stick to your exercises with weekly classes. And a professional organizer  can help you finally declutter your home, and learn how to keep it that way.

Having someone there to encourage you, check up on your progress, and celebrate getting past that two-month mark can really have an impact on whether you keep up your resolutions.

Remember, the point of a resolution is to better your life in some way, so don’t take it too seriously. If you are not enjoying yourself, find a way to change your plan to make it more enjoyable.

Here is to a happy and healthy 2021!

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