It is almost the New Year. You know what that means? Most gyms around the country are getting an influx of new customers either today, or next Monday. Why? Because people tend to begin things on Mondays. I'm assuming if you are reading this then you may have a New Year's Resolution of getting healthy, losing weight, and getting in shape. That's great! That is step number 1. I have to ask, have you ever had this same "health and fitness" resolution before? Did you start out strong and then lose your motivation and end up giving up within the first month or so? It's okay if you did. It's actually very common and many people fall into that reoccurring cycle.
I'm here to help you make this year's resolution stick!
A common occurrence that seems to happen is that people try to change too much all at once. They break out of their comfort zone and start exercising (something they haven't done in a long time), they change their eating habits by choosing healthier foods, and in return expect instant changes. Believe me, I've been in that same boat many times. What ends up happening is the body begins to get sore, tired, and unhappy with all of the changes. So what happens? Simple. People just give up and go back to their old ways.
So, what I've done is compiled a list of my TOP TIPS to help you stick to your New Year's Resolution ALL YEAR! Not just for a month or so.
1. Tell others about your resolution. Telling your friends and family about your plan can help in many ways. If you tell them that you are truly trying to stick to your health and fitness resolution, then they will help keep you accountable. They won't tempt you with unhealthy treats at get together's and they will help push you along if you start to lose motivation. It's much easier to stick to a resolution when you have the support of your friends and family.
2. Do NOT Diet! Make it a LIFESTYLE change. I hate when someone asks me if I'm "allowed" to eat something on my "diet." I know not everyone understands a clean eating lifestyle, including myself at one point, so I always explain how I am NOT dieting. The minute you start restricting yourself from tons of different types of foods, the minute you are confining yourself to a "diet." Seriously, do you think you can go FOREVER without eating pizza or an occasional treat? Probably not. Many people also go on diets that completely take away sugar and/or carbs. While that is great and I admire people that have that much will power to be able to do that, is that something that you will live without forever? I have seen people get amazing results when cutting out carbs but guess what, as soon as they add it back into their diet, the weight comes back. So rather than sticking to chicken and veggies 24/7, make changes that you can live with LONG TERM. I absolutely add in cheat meals to my weekly plan and have cheats like chips, pizza, cookies ON OCCASION. I do not deprive myself and test my willpower on a daily basis. I know what is healthy for me and I make choices that both my family and I can enjoy.
3. Set realistic goals. Changing everything all at once can be exhausting. You need to start slow, even with baby steps! Things like drinking more water, or swapping out some food choices, for example, all natural peanut butter rather than regular or reduced fat are completely doable. Fitness wise, don't expect to run a mile on the first day. Add to your reps as you get better. You could even add some extra minutes of cardio as you gain endurance. These are all healthy, attainable goals. The great thing about realistic goals is that you can make new ones as you accomplish the old ones!
4. Plan Ahead. This tip has truly been a life saver for me. Once I started taking the time to plan out my weekly meals, including snacks, I started eating MUCH better. I was more cautious of making sure that I get enough fruit, veggies, dairy, complex carbs, and protein each day without going overboard. Having a visual plan helps! I love the saying If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I keep a packet of Shakeology, a bottle of water, and a shaker cup in my car so that I am never stranded and tempted to hit up a drive-thru. If I'm going shopping or doing something on my own for a few house, I like to take a piece of fruit and a serving of almonds with me. If I'm going somewhere for the day I pack a cooler with healthy snacks for the entire family. In addition, I keep a set of workout clothes laying out with my workout program so that everything is there and ready. NO EXCUSES! Planning ahead is a huge key to success.
5. Be patient. Yes, that's right. You need to be patient! When it came to health and fitness, I was definitely not very patient. I would get discouraged after a week of working out if I didn't see results. When I accepted the fact that it took more than a week to put on the weight and it will take more than a week for it to come off, I started seeing the results. Making a lifestyle change takes TIME. You WILL have set-backs. You will make unhealthy choices every now and then, you will miss a workout and you will make mistakes. You are human. It happens to all of us. JUST DON'T QUIT! Imagine if you didn't quit the last time you made a resolution or goal to be healthy and fit.
6. Build a reward system. This is a fun one! Once you set your realistic goals, write down
something that you want to reward yourself with once you reach it. When I fully completed my first workout program over the summer I rewarded myself with a small shopping spree of getting some new jeans (in a smaller size of course). When I reached my first goal weight by the date I set, I bought myself a new pair of sneakers. Make a little deal with yourself. Treat yourself to something nice when you accomplish your short term goals.
7. Worry about your own transformation. It's so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Looking at magazines or even friends of your own who seem to be so much further ahead can be discouraging. Remember that you are doing this for yourself. Make your schedule so that YOU can manage and enjoy it. Everyone's body is different. Weight comes off easier for some than others. We all have different "troubled areas" on our bodies that seem to be a bit harder to manage or maintain. Stick with something that will last for YOU!
8. Don't beat yourself up. Perfect is unattainable. Don't give up working out just because you got sick or busy and missed a few workouts. Don't give up eating healthy because you made some bad choices over the weekend. Everyone has ups and downs. Resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.
9. Set your priorities. Whether you are going to a gym or working out at home, make it a priority
Focus T25 is only 25 minutes per workout and P90X3 is only 30 minutes! The same goes for eating healthy. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with planning ahead. Make it a priority to get to the grocery store and have healthy, planned out choices in your kitchen so that you don't stray off track when your willpower tests you.
10. Ask for support. It's OK if you need support. I did! Instead of getting the support in January, when I really could have used it, I went through the quitting and giving up cycle and waited until June to get the help I needed. I have been through it and I know what it takes to make a healthy lifestyle change. I have two toddlers and have been able to figure out a schedule that works for me, while still being able to spend time and take care of my family. I am starting TWO New Year New You Groups on Monday, January 5, 2015! You can read about them HERE. By joining, you will be surrounded with constant motivation, support, guidance, meal planning and recipes that will keep your head in the game and your body working towards YOUR goals! Fill out the form below to apply!
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