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5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

Nearly all make New Year's resolutions, but very few stick to them long-term. We get bored, lose motivation, or simply forget the goals made before the clock struck midnight.

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About 60 percent admit making New Year's resolutions, though only about 8 percent are successful in achieving them.

But this does not mean completely giving up on goals, but perhaps strategizing how to make them stick. Use these 5 simple tips to keep your New Year's resolutions this year!

5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

Tip 1: Develop an Action Plan

Setting lofty goals occurs with the best of intentions. However, such goals often do not bridge the gap between a starting point and when goals are reached. And that "how" of the goal tends to get ignored, and for a valid reason.

Delving into the strategy surfaces the reality that the journey to success is not always easy, which can be discouraging. Finding the answer to how to reach our goals forces us to think about real, actionable, steps needed take to make it possible. So to counter the fear of what lies ahead, an action plan is critical.

An action plan provides a framework from which we can act out our intentions, in whatever form they may take. Think about the small victories that will get you to where you want to be, step by step. Then, knock off each of these accomplishments one at a time. Eliminate the wide gap of uncertainty between ourselves and goals for the future.

Tip 2: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

"One bad meal will not make you gain weight, just as one good meal will not make you lose weight." This is an adage that applies to various New Year's resolutions even beyond weight loss. Because the reality of any resolution is it will not always go as planned.

So rather than sweating the small stuff, recognize there will be bumps in the road. These bumps are not only okay, but normal! Successful people understand they will falter from time-to-time, but there is always an opportunity to get back on track. If thinking of life as one big possibility, each decision made is a chance to become exactly who you would like to be.

If overeaten at a given meal or throughout the day, you have a choice to make. What possibility will you make a reality? Will you beat yourself up and wind up fueling further poor nutritional choices? Or will you acknowledge this mishap without shame, reaffirming your commitment to making better choices in the future? If chosen the latter, you will be one your way to your weight loss goal in no time at all.

Tip 3: Be Realistic

While big goals can be a great motivator for change, they can also become discouraging if not seeing the expected results. Think about it: If never ran before, aspiring to be a marathon finisher within the next month is quite ambitious and, well, unrealistic. Likewise, if wanting to lose a lot of weight, it is best to be realistic about the time frame to lose it.

Someone hoping to lose 50 pounds might find it completely overwhelming to do so. But rather than simply stating, "I want to lose 50 pounds," create a more realistic New Year's resolution. This may be, "I will lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly" and track progress accordingly.

Making short-term goals can lower the stress of losing a larger quantity of weight and help you stay on track. What's more, it will help you achieve your goals for long-term success!

Tip 4: Make Your Resolution Known

This New Year's resolution tip is simple, yet extremely effective. Share resolutions with family members, friends, and coworkers. Because in doing so, a few things can occur:

1. You may find that there are others who have set the same, or similar, goals. These people can help to hold you accountable and become the motivation needed to succeed at whatever set out to achieve.

2. When sharing intent with the world, we can no longer tuck it away in the deep recesses of our brains. Once it is out, we are much more likely to act out the steps necessary to be successful.

3. You may just might inspire others by your actions. Having a support network can be encouraging in a two-way direction, as they may count on you just as you count on them. And that is motivating!

Tip 5: Make Resolutions That Fit into Your Lifestyle

With a little bit of effort and creativity, nearly any goal can be accomplished if given time. But that is the caveat... We do not all have an abundance of extra time.

Instead of letting time tick away, though, make resolutions fit into your lifestyle and act accordingly. For instance, one may be concern about taking the time to prepare healthy meals and exercise. However, there are many opportunities to eat healthier and exercise more.

For instance, schedule one day a week to grocery shop and meal prep. Also take advantage of a weight loss meal delivery service to keep stocked with balanced meals.

Regarding exercise, wake up 30 minutes early to tackle a workout. Grab a workout buddy to increase accountability and motivation. Having clothes laid out and breakfast and lunch prepped can also help expedite a busy morning!

There are also simple changes that can fit into any lifestyle, including:

• Taking the steps over the elevator
• Ordering water over a sugary drink
• Splitting an entree at restaurants
• Scaling back on dessert frequency
• Taking a walk instead of watching television
• Doing jumping jacks while the coffee is brewing

New Year's resolutions are successful when creating and making lasting healthy habits. And instead of waiting for a certain time of year to make goals, start now. Truly, small changes lead to big rewards and results!

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on December 31, 2013. Updated on April 16, 2019.

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