Many people make resolutions for the New Year. While what the resolution is can vary, one thing that links them all together is how long they last. It is not uncommon for people to be working hard towards their resolutions for the first part of the year but then the motivation that was so strong in January begins to fizzle. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your resolution and make it last the year and beyond!
- Remember why. What is your reason for losing weight? Although your reason might be different from someone else’s, we can all agree that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your overall health. It reduces the risk of developing health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers, later on in life.
- Have a plan. Planning a menu or at least thinking ahead about what you are going to eat during the week is a key part of weight loss success. Make a grocery list and do the shopping on the weekend or on the day when you have the most time. Surround yourself with healthy foods and you will be more likely to eat them and incorporate them into your life.
- Write it down. Tracking your calories helps keep you accountable for what you are eating. It gives you a true picture of the foods you eat enough of, ones you should be eating more often, and even the ones you are eating too much. It also helps to write down the goals you have set for yourself and put them in an obvious place. Seeing them on a piece of paper serves as a daily reminder and helps reinforce what you are working towards.
- Make workouts work for you. Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and there are many different ways to incorporate it into your daily routine. Think of exercise as an opportunity to catch up with friends over a brisk walk. Is work stressing you out? Take some time to get out your frustration with a punching bag at a kickboxing class. Do not be afraid to mix it up and try new forms of exercise. Curious about yoga? Grab a DVD from your local library or check out a class. Want to get into running? Check out a local running group. Just think, do you ever regret exercising? Always remember how great you feel after a workout and that you made the choice for yourself to be healthy.
- Set behavior goals. Did you track your calories for the entire week? Work out three times this week? Cooked dinner at home for five nights? You can control your behavior and what you do. Tracking what you eat, working out, and cooking a healthy meal are all choices that you make. Congratulate yourself for your healthy choices and actions; that positivity will encourage you to keep up the habit.
- Take baby steps. Learning new, healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes take time. Do not overwhelm yourself and set yourself up for failure by saying that you are going to be perfect and do everything right immediately. No one is perfect. Instead, choose smaller goals that can be accomplished one by one. Once you have met one goal, you can then move on to the next. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Think process over results. Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong adventure. Learning along the way and embracing the process is important. Didn’t lose as much as you wanted? Congratulate yourself for what you did do and…