How to Stick to Healthy Resolutions in the New Year
I truly believe that if you asked people what their new year’s resolution was, at least half of them would say some variation of better fitness and/or weight loss. It seems that it’s a pretty constant struggle for us, and one that we continue to fight year after year. So why is it so cyclical? Why do so many of us resolve to get into better shape in the new year, begin a regimented routine of diet and exercise, follow it for a few weeks (or even a few months) and then proceed to give up, only to start the process again at the end of December? Why can’t we stick with it? While there isn’t necessarily a single answer that can mitigate all of our motivational issues, there are definitely a few ways to make your regimen easy-to-follow and long-term, so that this can be the last year that fitness goals dominate your resolutions. Here are a few of them:
When you’re starting (or trying to keep up) and new fitness regimen, it’s important to stay motivated and excited about your new lifestyle. It’s not easy to perform a total 180 in a matter of days, so you’ll need a few ways to keep it interesting and to stay inspired throughout the year (not to mention, the rest of your life). Try starting with smaller and easily attainable goals, such as three days of exercise per week for a month or cutting back to one treat each day after dinner. Once you feel comfortable with your results, integrate more goals into your routine. Reaching set goal points can provide you with the motivation to keep it up.
One of the biggest lifestyle changes that people need to make in order to attain their fitness goals is to integrate an exercise routine into their (most likely already busy) schedules multiple times per week. This isn’t easy, but it will make seeing and feeling results a much speedier process. Try physically scheduling workouts into your planner, so that you aren’t tempted to plan other things at the same time. Also, keep your workouts interesting- don’t restrict yourself to the treadmill. Take dance classes or yoga classes, hike with friends, and explore your local rock climbing gym.
Equally as important as exercise, changing one’s diet can be really difficult. When you are used to eating a certain way, breaking that habit and starting a healthier, cleaner diet can seem dull, repetitive, and expensive. However, there are ways to keep things fresh and flavorful. Shop at your local farmer’s market once a week in order to stock up on seasonal, fresh produce that you can integrate into your week’s menu. Try out different fruits and vegetables- you may be surprised at how delicious they really are.