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It’s that time of year again! The time for a fresh start, a new beginning, a resolve to change. Well, how did last year’s fresh start go for you? If you’re like most people, you were hard core in January, and then as February rolled around, somehow life got in the way, and continued to get in the way throughout the rest of the year. So, let’s try to avoid that this year. Here are some tips on how to stick with your 2013 resolutions…or shall we say, your 2013 lifestyle changes!
- Don’t be superficial. Yes, we all want to look great, but there are so many other reasons for exercising and eating well. Instead of saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to look good in a bikini/speedo by summer” focus on another reason to get yourself healthier. Example: “I want to increase my endurance” or “I want to lower my blood pressure” or “I want to walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing” or “I want to get up off the couch without using my hands.” Looking good is merely a lovely side effect of being healthy.
- Express yourself. Tell someone about your 2013 lifestyle changes. It can be a friend, family member, coworker, classmate, or anyone that you talk to often. This way they can check in with you and hold you accountable. You’re more likely to stick with change if you express it out loud.
- Take pen to paper. Write down your 2013 lifestyle changes and put them where you can see them everyday. Stick them on the fridge or write them on the bathroom mirror. Remind yourself daily about what you decided to change in the new year.
- Make many small changes leading up to a big change. Why not make monthly changes this year? January 1st isn’t the only 1st of the year. You are more likely to stick with your big goal if you meet many smaller goals along the way.
- Don’t be ridiculous. Make a realistic resolve to change. The reason so many people fail in meeting goals, is that they set unrealistic expectations for themselves. Use common sense to dictate your goal-setting. Don’t aim to look like someone else, or vow to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, that’s just ridiculous and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- It’s not a competition. The only person you should be concerned with is yourself. It’s fine to have a workout buddy or smoking cessation partner, but you need to remain supportive of each other. Don’t let human nature rear it’s ugly head. Every body is different. Comparing yourself to others or competing with others is a sure way to sabotage your progress.
- It’s not a resolution, it’s a lifestyle change. Change takes time. You must be patient with yourself. You are basically breaking old habits, and as we all know, old habits are hard to break. If you’ve resolved to lose weight, keep in mind that safe, effective, and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. If you do the math, you’re looking at 24 pounds lost in a year. It is, of course, possible to have faster weight loss, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a flat stomach in one month.
Happy New Year and good luck with your 2013 lifestyle changes!! Feel free to share your changes below.