At the start of each new year, countless people resolve to lose weight and get in shape in the coming months. However, it can be difficult to stick to those New Year’s resolutions in the long run. After a few weeks of hard work, it can often be tempting to slip back into your old routine and eating habits, undoing any results you’ve acquired so far. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure that this is the year you really stick to your weight loss New Year’s resolutions.
Part of being successful is giving yourself a goal which you can actually obtain. When you fail to reach an unrealistic goal, you may be tempted to give up altogether. Set a goal that seems attainable but still gives you enough of a challenge.
Just because it’s a New Year’s resolution doesn’t mean that you have to give yourself a full year to reach your goals. You’re more likely to be successful if you put a shorter deadline on your promises. Instead of losing 10 pounds in 2 months, challenge yourself to lose 1 pound a week. This strategy will keep you motivated and encourage you to keep setting more short-term goals.
Don’t assume that you’ll automatically stick to your resolution as soon as January 1st rolls around. Having a plan of action will help you establish a new routine that encourages weight loss. Decide what type of exercise you’ll do each day and plan out healthy meals that you can easily make or take with you during the day. Plan time to go grocery shopping, join a gym, buy new sneakers and do any other errands to help get your weight loss plan on track.
Plan to write down the meals and snacks that you eat each day. This helps you track your eating habits as you attempt to lose weight so you can see where extra calories can be cut. It also can help you cut back on mindless eating. Likewise, writing down your workouts can be a great motivator. For example, you may start out only being able to run for 5 minutes on the treadmill, but after a few weeks you may find yourself running for twice as long.
Mental preparation is often just as important as physical preparation when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Being ready for potential slip-ups is an important part of reaching your weight loss goals. You may give in to temptation when someone brings in cake at work. Or maybe you’ll be unable to work out for a few days due to an illness. If you punish yourself for small setbacks like these, you’re more likely to feel defeated and forget about your goals altogether. In order to stay motivated, be prepared to get right back on track as soon as you have a setback, adjusting your goals as necessary. In the end, it’s better to have a small mistake here and there rather than giving up entirely.
Sharing your weight loss goals will have two important advantages when trying to stick to your resolutions. First, you’ll feel more accountable when you know that others are aware that you’re trying to lose weight. Whether you only tell you closest friends or you share it with the entire office, having at least one other person aware of your resolution is a great way to stay motivated. Secondly, you can often find a lot of support by telling others that you want to lose weight. Perhaps they are also trying to drop a few pounds – the two of you could talk about your goals and plans to motivate each other. Even if they don’t share your same resolutions, they can often offer encouragement and advice that will be invaluable to your progress.
As you reach each of the smaller milestones that you’ve set for yourself, do something to reward your hard work. Just make sure that your rewards are in line with your goals. For example, don’t reward yourself with a calorie-filled dessert if you’ve just reached a weight loss goal. Do something else instead, whether it’s taking an afternoon off from work or buying yourself a new book you’ve been wanting.
Before you set your plan in motion, it may be helpful to see your doctor for a full check-up. They can make sure the plan you’ve laid out for weight loss is a healthy one and give you tips and advice for success based on your particular state of health.