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New Year

Tips for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Tomorrow starts a brand new year. That means it’s time to make big, lofty goals to completely transform yourself as a person, right? Hmmm, not so fast. A new year is a time for a fresh start, but part of the reason that New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap is because many of them are unfocused and a little too ambitious. The New Year is all about committing to small changes that add up to lifestyle transformations, not trying to turn yourself into a brand new person over night.

These tips will help you come up with New Year’s resolutions that you’re proud of, and most importantly, that you can stick to past February (the time when most people quit).

Lower Your Ambitions

I know that lowering your ambitions doesn’t seem like the best advice, especially from a weight loss clinic, but hear us out. Starting out with a huge goal, like lose 100 pounds this year, can lead to disaster. First of all, even if that’s the ultimate goal, it’s pretty overwhelming as an initial goal, and it might be a little too ambitious. Second of all,  take an honest look at the goal. Is it something that you realistically accomplish in the time frame given? If not, re-evaluate. Maybe you can vow to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week or 50 pounds for the year, which is an enormous goal. If you’re too ambitious, it can leave you feeling defeated if you don’t meet that goal.

Be VERY Clear

One of the best ways to accomplish your goals is to be VERY clear about what they are. It’s not enough to say “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be healthier”. How exactly are you going to get there? Instead, say things like “I will cut back on my soda habit” or “I will start going to the gym 3 times per week”.

Focus On One Thing at a Time

You’re not going to become a completely different person overnight and that’s okay. Don’t set yourself up for failure by giving yourself a resolution that looks like this: “I will quit smoking, lose 20 pounds, spend less time watching television, and work out 7 days a week”. That is way too much to focus on. Prioritize instead. What goal is most important to you? If it’s quitting smoking, focus on that. Once you feel comfortable with your new non-smoker lifestyle, move on to the next goal, like cutting down on your television time. Keep in mind that these are goals you are going to have to consistently work on, but don’t try to commit to everything all at once. That’s a surefire path to overwhelm.

Ask For Help

We all need a little help and support from time to time. Share your goals with others and ask for help when you need it. You may need a gym buddy or someone to send you some new, healthy recipes. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. If you don’t find that support with family and friends, find a community of people who share your goals. It could be something as simple as joining a Facebook group where people offer advice. If weight loss is your goal, we’re here to support you on your journey.

Make Sure You’re Happy

Happiness reigns above all else. If you start a new routine and you’re totally unhappy with it, you’re allowed to change your mind and do something else. One of the keys to sticking to your New Year’s resolution is to be happy with the change. Something that makes you miserable is not sustainable. To add to that, studies have shown that happiness increases willpower, so the happier you are, the more easily you’ll be able to stick to your new routine.

What is your resolution for 2016? What small goals have you put in place to get there? We’d love to hear all about it!

New Years resolution

Why You Shouldn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

What we’re about to say may surprise you, so hold onto your seats. Ready? Are you sitting down? We don’t think you should make any New Year’s resolutions this year. Now we know this isn’t the popular opinion, but hear us out.

According to statistics, roughly 200 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year. Of those 200 million Americans, only about 8 percent actually achieve their New Year’s goals. You would think the number of successful individuals would be a little more impressive than that, given the fact that more than half of the population is participating. However, according to experts, there are more than a few reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

One of the main reasons that New Year’s resolutions fail is because they’re unrealistic and non-specific. According to research, the most common New Year’s resolutions are lose weight/get fit, save money (spend less), and quit smoking. While these New Year’s resolutions have a positive common theme – they’re all focused on bettering oneself – they also have another commonality: they’re not specific enough and they’re hard. Every single one of these goals requires a major life change, and without a clear cut path or specific goal-setting, you’re basically asking for failure.

Another reason that New Year’s resolutions fail is because people place too much hope on the outcome of their resolution. People convince themselves that if I could just lose weight, or save money, or stop smoking, then I will finally be happy; but that’s not necessarily the case – and when the resolution doesn’t live up to that expectation, people often quit. In order to improve your happiness level, you’ll have to improve your mindset. External things, like weight loss and more money in the bank, will certainly help, but they’re only a piece of a larger puzzle.

What to Do Instead

Now don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that you shouldn’t make goals to better yourself and then work toward them, we’re just saying that maybe New Year’s resolutions aren’t quite the way to go. The New Year comes with a lot of pressure to start anew, but every day is a blank slate and an opportunity to make a change. If you have a goal, start RIGHT NOW. You don’t have to wait until Monday, or New Year’s Day, or after your birthday. There will always be an excuse not to start now, but they’re often just that: excuses.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make a goal and then outline steps to get there. If your goal is weight loss, create an action plan. How much weight specifically do you want to lose? And what are you going to do to achieve that goal? Are you going to meal plan and work out three days a week? Write it all down and keep it visible.
  2. Enlist an accountability buddy. Tell someone your goal – bonus points if he/she has a shared goal – and check in with him/her regularly to make sure you’re both staying on track.
  3. Pay attention to your mindset. The major key to achieving your goals is believing you can, celebrating small successes, and overcoming any roadblocks or failures. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll never get there. Spend time reading personal development books or listening to motivating podcasts and, most importantly, put what you learn into practice.
  4. Focus on the present. Instead of focusing on the ultimate goal and how much more work you have to do until you get there, focus on the moment. What is one thing you can do right now that will help propel you toward your goal?

What you do think? Will you decide to give up resolutions this year and focus on short-term, everyday goals instead? If not, and you’re making resolutions, what are they? Will the way you approach them change after reading this article? We want to know!

New Year's resolution

New Year’s Resolution: Tips to Make It Last

Ahh, the New Year is quickly approaching and you know what that means – it’s time for a New Year resolution! A lot of people poke fun at the New Year’s Resolution because many tend to throw in the towel on their resolutions before January even ends.

Well, if that sounds like you, we’re here to help you make your resolution last. In addition to following the tips listed below, keep in mind that it generally takes at least 3 weeks – 21 days – to change or make a habit. Of course, change is going to be uncomfortable at first, but stick with it! Whether your goal is to slim down, save money, or spend less time watching TV, you can do it!

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Last:

Choose something that YOU want.

Make your resolution truly about you. Think of something that you want to accomplish for yourself, rather than for your friends, family, or a significant other and stick to that.

Be realistic.

Resolving to do something completely unattainable is a recipe for disaster. If you say that you’re not going to eat chocolate for the whole year or that you’re going to work out for 2 hours each day every day, you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure. Instead, make realistic resolutions. If you eat chocolate 3 times a week now, resolve to cut that down to one. If you don’t work out at all, make it a point to work out 3 times a week and work your way up from there.

Focus on one New Year’s resolution; and be specific.

Some people get so excited and caught up in the “New Year, New You” mentality that they go overboard on the resolutions. Instead of vowing to change everything that you’re doing “wrong”, stick to one resolution and make it specific. Don’t say “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to eat better”. Instead, say “I’m going to lose 12 pounds” or “I’m going to cover at least half of my plate in vegetables at every meal”. Committing to more than one thing can be overwhelming and make it more likely that you’ll quit before the year’s end.

Tell people.

Letting your friends and family in on your resolution has two benefits. First, when you feel like you have something to “prove” to others, you generally try harder to make it work. Second, when the supportive people in your life know you have a goal, they help keep you on track. For example, if your best friend knows you’re trying to avoid chocolate, she’s not going to bring over a chocolate bar on girls’ night.

Write it down.

In addition to telling people your resolution, write it down. If you can, keep it somewhere visible so it serves as a positive reminder every day.

Make a plan.

Instead of going into your resolution blindly, make a plan to accomplish your goals. If your goal is to lose 12 pounds, write down exactly how you’re going to accomplish that. If your goal is to save money, choose a specific amount and decide how much you can afford to put aside each day to reach that goal.

Celebrate small victories.

Sure, the ultimate goal is to accomplish what you set out to do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate small victories along the way. Celebrate every half pound you lose or every dollar you save. Celebrate every time you choose broccoli over a potato or you skip the chocolate. Rewarding yourself with positive self-talk along the way will help you stick to your goals.

Have fun.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. There are times during the year when you’re bound to veer away from your New Year’s resolution, but you know what? That’s okay. Laugh about it instead of beating yourself up and get right back on track. Nobody’s perfect. As long as you accept that you’re going to slip up once in a while, you’re doing just fine.