A Fresh Start in the New Year

To many people, the first of January represents a clean slate and an opportunity to make a resolution to improve some aspect of their lives in the coming months. That’s a great attitude to have moving into another calendar year, but making a commitment to change habits and lifestyles for the better is a big undertaking that can easily be forgotten once February rolls around.

Sticking to a New Year’s resolution can be hard work, but it can absolutely be done! Consider the following tips when trying to come up with your health goals this year:

Don’t drastically change your routine – instead, find ways to incorporate your goals into your current schedule.

Exercising is a more difficult resolution to keep than many people may think because it most likely involves a financial commitment (gym membership, personal trainer, a pair of running sneakers, etc.) and a time commitment. If exercising is not already part of your routine, it can be difficult to fit in. Find the times during the day when you could add an activity without changing your entire routine. Great times could be in the morning or immediately after work.

Start with small steps.

Don’t take on an extreme new diet; start with buying better food at the grocery store, cutting out snack foods, and reducing the number of times you eat out per month. Taking small steps allows good habits to replace the bad and can help develop a healthy lifestyle instead of just a healthy month.

Don’t set an unrealistic goal.

Example – Lose 50 pounds by summer.

A lofty weight loss goal may seem structured enough to be successful. The amount you want to lose is clearly defined and there is a timeframe involved for completion. But weight loss is different for everyone. Consult with a nutritionist or trainer when setting your goals to be sure they are realistic for your lifestyle!

Have a buddy!

Doing an activity with friends and family is usually better than doing it alone, and working toward your New Year’s resolutions is not any different. Having a roommate to go to the gym with will increase the likelihood of you going as well. Having a buddy to help you toward a goal makes you accountable to someone besides just yourself, and it is much easier to break a promise to yourself than one to a friend.

Make it fun

Resolutions shouldn’t be dreaded. Exercise more because you want more energy. Eat healthier because you just realized how delicious homemade food can be. When your goals involve toward something you want for you and something you’ll enjoy working for, you’ll be much more likely to reach that goal successfully!