Here’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions: we all make them.
Whether we write them down, confide in a trusted friend, or just keep them tucked safely in the backs of our minds, it’s human nature to use the start of a new year to try to improve ourselves.
Of course, making resolutions and actually sticking to them are two different things. According to a survey of more than 2,000 Americans, the three most common resolutions for 2017 were all health related: eating better (71%), exercising more (65%) and losing weight (54%). But as few as 8% of resolutions are actually kept for a month or more.
In other words, we’ve got the right idea — but the wrong execution.
To help you join that successful 8%, here are some suggestions for sticking to your health-related resolutions in 2019.
Start with an honest assessment.
Don’t (ahem) sugar-coat the situation. Weigh yourself and measure yourself at the hips, thighs, and biceps. Keep track of everything you eat and drink in the days leading up to your healthy new lifestyle (knowing that holiday parties can skew the results). Make a list of activities that get your blood pumping—from aerobic exercise to walking around the mall (they all count).
Set attainable goals.
“Exercise more and eat better” is a place to start, but it isn’t good enough to keep you motivated. Want to lose 10 pounds? Drop a pants size? Write it down. Remember, these are YOUR goals. Depending on your starting point, a fitness goal could be anything from “be able to walk around the block twice without losing your breath” to “finish a half-marathon.”
Keep track of your progress.
There are lots of great (and usually free!) fitness apps to help you measure your activity and caloric intake. Find one that you like and track everything: calories, steps, even your feelings and emotions about your progress.
Share your successes with friends.
Social media is a great way to show people how hard you’re working, and your friends will be a great source of encouragement. Facebook tip: create a smaller group of friends with whom you share your daily health triumphs. That way, you’re not “over-sharing” with everyone at work or those snarky cousins back home—keep it to people you really trust.
When you reach a milestone, you should feel proud of all the hard work and dedication you put into it. So go ahead, indulge in a slice of supreme pizza one night or even better — grab a guilt-free ONE Birthday Cake protein bar.