Weight Loss or Fitness-Related New Year’s Resolution
A Weight Loss or Fitness-Related New Year’s Resolution
Do you have plans to get healthy in 2015? Committing to any new lifestyle transformation — getting fit, eating right, or losing weight — isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it! A weight loss or fitness-related New Year’s resolution is a powerful first step in the right direction, but remember that it’s just that – a first step. Extra effort will be required to stay on track and carry your goal through to the finish line. Here are ten tips to help you start the year off on the right foot.
Once the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, many of us feel a burst of excitement and inspiration about the year ahead – and that’s great! But don’t let all that enthusiasm lead to setting a New Year’s resolution that’s so extreme or beyond your reach! You’ll wind up feeling overwhelmed or disheartened when you inevitably fall off track. Instead of shooting for something unrealistic (“I will make it to the gym 7 days a week all year”) or unhealthy (“I will drop 30 pounds by Valentine’s Day”), aim for one or two goals that are sensible and attainable, like committing to dropping a couple of dress sizes by your high school reunion next fall or cook a healthy dinner at home at least four nights week. By giving yourself enough time and resources to accomplish your resolution, you’ll set yourself up to be successful.
Write It Down
When you put pen to paper and write down your New Year’s resolutions, you automatically turn your thoughts into something tangible. Post your goals in a place you’ll be forced to look at them regularly, and as you re-read them again and again, the words will form a stronger impression in your mind. Studies show that keeping a written record of your progress can also help you succeed. So log your weight each week, write down what you eat, and record how you’re feeling regularly in a journal. A written track record not only gives you a reality check (Wow, I ate how many calories at lunch?), it helps you uncover unhealthy patterns and pinpoint trouble spots. You can even look back from time to time to see how your attitude and eating patterns have evolved – which will give you an extra boost of motivation!
If you don’t set a goal that’s measureable in some way, how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Your New Year’s resolution should also include some smaller mini-goals to function as progress checkpoints along the way to the main goal. That way, if your long-term resolution seems overwhelming (such as, drop 50 pounds by next year), you can break it down into more short-term, measurable daily or weekly goals (lose a pound a week). Since you will be able to track your progress on a gradual but consistent basis, you will be able to see yourself succeeding, which is the best way to stay on track.
Make It Visual
In addition to writing down your goals, you can use other visual reminders to help keep them fresh in your mind. A bikini you would love to wear proudly on the beach, a picture of you at a time when you were more physically fit, or a favorite old dress you want to fit into again are all very powerful symbols of what you set out to achieve. By keeping these visuals hanging around your home, on the fridge or at your desk at work, you will have constant reminders to stay motivated and stick to your plan.
Make the Investment
If you’re serious about shedding pounds and getting healthy, this is a great time of year to invest in some quality gear to help you succeed. Treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers with a sturdy sole, a few comfortable and stylish pieces of workout attire, or a set of dumbbells (or all three!). Having the right equipment readily available will make it that much easier to stick to a new fitness plan – and the fact that you have invested money may keep you from finding excuses to skip your workout.
Sign up for a daily inspirational newsletter to help you stay focused on meeting your goal. Maybe it’s a weight-loss or health-related newsletter. Anything that gives you a boost of confidence and helps encourage you to make positive changes will do the trick. I also suggest that people read the success stories of others who have accomplished their goals, whether it’s losing weight or running a 5K. Their stories will remind you that succeeding is possible if you put your mind to it. The success of others is often the best inspiration!
Make Room in Your Routine
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in years, it’s important to find a workout time that works for you — and stick to it. Many people find that waking up a half hour earlier and getting their workouts out of the way first thing in the morning is best. Not a morning person? Throw your gym bag in the car and get your workout in right after work, before you get home and get caught up in your home life. Pretty soon it will be habit to exercise, instead of a chore you have to squeeze in.
Get Others Involved
Having friends and family on board is such a huge motivator. Research has shown that people who have support are the most successful at diet and exercise programs. Plus, when you make a commitment to improve your lifestyle along with someone else — a close friend, your significant other, a child — you’re more likely to stick with it. Get the kids or your significant other involved in the kitchen and whip up a nutritious meal together one night each week (you’ll have a blast!). Have a friend who has also vowed to lose weight in the New Year? Set up walking dates at your local park or gym. You’re much more likely to show up for your workout when you know someone else is counting on you!
Focus on ONE step at a time
Sooner or later in 2015, you’re bound to get distracted, feel worn out, or hit a plateau with your progress – all reasons why many people trying to lose weight start to feel discouraged. Don’t let that happen to you! Instead of getting overwhelmed by what’s still ahead, keep it simple. Take a moment to ask yourself, what’s one thing I can do or change right now to help myself succeed? Then go ahead and make that one small change. By focusing on the next step in front of you – getting up for your morning walk, choosing salad instead of fast food for lunch – you’ll stay in control of the situation and help yourself get back on course.
Sometimes staying motivated requires a little incentive. Hey — there’s nothing wrong with that! When you get through a really tough workout or follow your healthy-eating plan flawlessly for a week, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. How about a day of pampering? Get a fabulous new haircut, a mani-pedi, a facial, or a massage. If you’re close to your ideal weight, shop for some new clothes to fit your incredibly shrinking body! Or reward your hard work each month by picking up a new fitness accessory (a medicine ball, say, or a pedometer) or a kitchen tool to help you prepare all those good-for-you meals. Giving yourself little rewards allows you to celebrate your progress and motivated you to keep working towards that resolution!
At KBR Lifestyles, we are here to help you with all your Fitness & Nutrition needs. Please feel free to send us an email with any and all questions you might have!