7 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us make the same promises at the new year–lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier. We all really want to meet our goals, so why do they seem to disappear before January is even over? It’s not just about willpower, it’s about approaching these changes with the right attitude and skills. Here are seven tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t go it alone. Whether you opt to join a weight-loss program, a support group, an exercise class–or all three–being part of a group can really stoke up your motivation. If you prefer one-on-one support, consider hiring a personal trainer or seeing a counselor.

Set realistic goals.
 As much as you may want to lose 50 pounds by spring, when it doesn’t happen quickly enough you’ll get discouraged. Instead, create smaller goals, such as losing 10% of your current weight. That’s a reasonable goal, and it can also reduce health risks.

Stay on track. When you slip up on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t give up entirely. One mistake doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause! New habits have to be learned, so you have to keep at them long enough for them to become a part of your life. That could take weeks or even months!

Have a backup plan. The next time wintry weather puts the kibosh on a trip to the gym, don’t use it as an excuse to skip your workout.  You can easily find some workout videos online. If you find you prefer exercising at home, you may even want to invest in a bike or treadmill.

Make specific goals. Instead of making vague, generic New Year’s resolutions like “I want to eat better this year,” set specific, actionable changes, such as eating an extra serving of vegetables at each meal or choosing fruit over chips for afternoon snacks.

Track your progress. Whether you use an app, a journal or just a plain old notebook, track your progress by keeping a food diary, logging your workouts, or monitoring your weight or measurements. Seeing these changes develop over time will be a big-time motivator.

Don’t make it too hard. Last, but not least, choose doable changes. For instance, if you’re a candy fan or dessert lover, it will be tough to go “cold turkey” and give up sweets entirely. Instead, scale back to one sweet treat per day to start with and progress from there.