New Year’s Resolution? Here’s How to Succeed

It’s another new year, and with every drop of the ball in Times Square comes a long list of resolutions that people hope to achieve in the coming year. If you’re like most people, losing weight, getting in shape, or otherwise getting healthier is probably at the top of your list. If you’ve made a resolution this year to get healthier, there are some tips you want to know. By following the below list of tips, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your resolutions and achieving success this year.

Stick to Small Goals

Many people set very large goals for themselves at the beginning of the year. It’s admirable to reach for the stars and think big in terms of your overall goals. If you don’t set small goals for yourself along the way, it’s very likely that you’ll become overwhelmed and will abandon ship before your New Year’s resolutions even have a chance of becoming a success. The bigger your goal is, the more small steps you’ll want to have them between now and your ultimate goal. For instance, if you want to lose 100 pounds in a year, break it down into five pound goals. Five pounds doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but 100 pounds seems insurmountable. But if you focus on those five pound goals in between, it won’t seem like so much to take on, and you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding. Plus, rewarding yourself for achieving smaller goals makes you feel accomplished and will keep you on track as you head towards your main goal.

Focus on Wellness, Not Weight

Millions of people every year say that they want to lose weight. Wanting to lose weight in and of itself is a noble goal. But the problem with setting a weight loss goal is that very often you start to focus on the goal itself, usually being a number on the scale, instead of focusing on what will get you to that goal: health. Your weight is nothing more than an expression of how healthy your body is inside. If you’re at a healthy weight, you probably have a relatively healthy lifestyle. If you have an unhealthy weight, then you probably need to change some things about your lifestyle and the way that you eat and live in order to lose weight. Instead of focusing solely on the number on the scale, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself. The healthier your lifestyle is, including healthy foods and regular exercise, the closer to your weight loss goal you will be. So focus on overall wellness, and the weight loss will take care of itself.

Determine What Is Doable

Another thing you will want to do when you set your goals for the new year is to make sure that they are realistic. If you find yourself tempted to go on a crash diet, or to take some extreme measure to achieve your goal, you might want to rework your goal a little bit. Always remember that the main objective is to have a very healthy overall lifestyle. If the means you will have to take in order to reach the end goal you’ve set for yourself this year require you to obtain habits that are not sustainable, such as consume an incredibly low amount of calories, then you need to get your priorities in order and readjust your goal. This isn’t about achieving overnight success. It’s about creating and crafting a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and balanced. Determine what you can reasonably commit to doing to better your life and reach your goals on a long-term basis, and then set goals that allow you to take actionable steps in a realistic timeframe to achieve them.

Enthusiasm is a great thing, and if you are very passionate about achieving your health and fitness goals this year, that’s great! But just keep in mind that sometimes enthusiasm can lead to unrealistic expectations. This year, you’re still going to have obligations and things that keep you from working out for two hours, or running 15 miles a day. But chances are you will be able to sneak in a 15 minute workout here and there, or run one mile in the morning. Remember to set goals for yourself that you absolutely know you can achieve on a regular basis, such as working out for five minutes a day. If you end up working out for 60 minutes, more power to you. But by setting up a series of small goals, focusing on wellness, and maintaining a realistic expectation for your gear, you will feel more successful and be much more likely to achieve your overall goals. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

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