How to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

GEHA | December 14, 2020

everyday health exercise fitness health and wellness how to's mental health nutrition and exercise smoking cessation walking Weight Management well-being
Try these tips and say "mission accomplished" 12 months from now.

New Year’s resolutions are fun to make in December, difficult to carry out in January and often forgotten by February.

One big challenge with New Year’s resolutions – from losing weight and stopping smoking to eating healthier and getting more sleep – is that they are often too big and therefore unrealistic to accomplish. Instead, try trimming your resolution down into manageable goals.

For example, instead of setting a goal to lose 30 pounds, make it your goal to lose five pounds a month for six months.

Then, develop an action plan. How do you plan on losing those five pounds a month? By walking 25 minutes a day? By not buying snacks from the vending machine and bringing healthy snacks from home?

It is also important to determine the reason why your old habit has been so persistent and address that in your action plan. What makes smoking that cigarette feel so good and what could you do instead that might gradually replace that feeling?

Next, develop a support system that will help you stick to your plan. These are people who can congratulate you when you aren’t feeling motivated and may include your spouse, close friend or doctor. These friends may also become your walking buddies or an encouragement confidante who will steer you away from that vending machine.

Keep a diary of your journey, noting what may have triggered a lapse as well as how it felt when you successfully completed a tough day. This will help you understand the challenges you face and provide motivation if you slip up again.

Finally, congratulate yourself along the way. Play your favorite song after completing a walk or do something special for yourself if you go an entire day without buying something from the vending machine or having a cigarette. Ask your support circle to cheer you on as well. This is hard work – you deserve it.

Active&Fit can help you stay on track

Enrolling in Active&Fit Direct gives you a huge resource and component of your support group – access to your own personal health coach. Your coach is available for one-on-one conversations to help in areas including fitness, nutrition, stress and sleep. He or she are also able to help you find the right exercises for your activity level and goals from the more than 800 on-demand workout videos in the Active&Fit Direct library. Enroll now and the $25 enrollment fee will be waived through the end of December, 2020.

GEHA will help you quit

GEHA’s medical plans offer 100% coverage to help you quit smoking. No copays, coinsurance, deductibles, dollar limits or in-network or out-of-network differentiation. GEHA’s smoking cessation benefits include:

• Up to four sessions of counseling for each attempt to quit, with two attempts to quit covered each year. • Both over-the-counter* (with a physician's prescription) and prescription drugs approved for smoking cessation.

*Nicotine gum is covered, but you must get a prescription from your doctor or receive the drugs as part of a plan-approved tobacco cessation program for it to be covered with no copays and coinsurance.

For more information, call GEHA Customer Care at 800.821.6136 or consult your GEHA Plan Brochure. For more information on the FEHB tobacco cessation benefit, visit OPM's Quit Smoking webpage.


Sources:
“Making your resolutions stick.” newsinhealth.nih.gov, National Institutes of Health, December, 2010.
“Seven steps for making your New Year’s resolutions stick.” health.harvard.edu, Harvard Medical School.
“Making ‘SMART’ New Year’s resolutions.” wichita.va.gov, Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.