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How to Keep Your Resolutions This Year!

Have you made a resolution this year to lose weight and get healthy? The beginning of a new year always seems to feel like a fresh start for people. It's a new year and you have control over how you want the next 12 months play out. You've gotten through the holiday season so losing weight seems much more manageable now. But did you know only 8% of people actually follow through with their resolutions? Most people have given up by March. But that doesn't have to be you! You can be in the 8%! Here's how!

Diet resolutions are made with the best intentions but the problem is they are often too overwhelming to stick to! For example, making a resolution to lose 20 pounds this year involves a number of other resolutions you need to commit to, like eating healthier, exercising more, and meal planning. The initial motivation might keep you on track for a few weeks but life can quickly get in the way and make it harder to continue all of these lifestyle changes. Once you stop losing weight you may be inclined to deem yourself a failure and give up, saying you'll try again next year. This vicious cycle continues year after year. The fault is not on you though, it's on the resolution you are making.

This year try making a smaller, more specific resolution that can help lead you to your ultimate goal of losing weight. Follow the SMART goals guidelines and set a resolution that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. A goal to "get healthy" or "lose weight" is not specific. If you eat more vegetables then have you achieved your goal of getting healthy? If you lose one pound then have you achieved your goal of losing weight? Chances are this is not what you had in mind. Instead, set specific goals like I am going to eat 5 cups of vegetables a day. Or I am going to make my own lunch to bring to work instead of buying something there. These goals are specific and very achievable and they will help get you to your ultimate goal of being healthy and losing weight!

Here's a list of SMART resolutions to make for the new year!

1. I will go to the gym for at least 30 minutes 5 days per week.

2. I will keep a food log every day for the next 6 months.

3. I will create a meal plan and grocery list at the beginning of each week.

4. I will pack my lunch to bring to work.

5. I will start eating breakfast every day.

6. I will add at least one serving of vegetables to my dinners.

7. I will go to bed at 10pm so I can get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

8. I will do 5 minutes of meditation every morning.

9. I will choose the stairs over the elevator.

10. I will limit processed food in my diet, especially food with added sugar and artificial additives.

For each resolution you make you should also think through specifically how you will carry each resolution out. For example, if you make the resolution to go to the gym 5 days per week then ask yourself: what days will I go to the gym? Which gym will I go to? Will I pack my clothes so I can go right after work? Will I purchase workout videos to do at home? If your resolution is the eat breakfast every day, ask yourself: What would I like to have for breakfast? Can I make it at night to save time in the morning? Will I eat at home or at work? Thinking through the details of these resolutions will make you more likely to stick to them and will make them much more realistic and achievable.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!

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