Each year, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us will break our resolutions by the end of January, and only about eight percent of people will actually reach their goal at the end of 2016.
Why is it so hard to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions? It’s often because we fail to make resolutions that are practical and measurable. Without the right strategy and support, keeping your resolution through the end of the year will be tough.
If you’ve made a resolution to be more active, get fit, and live healthier this year, here are ten tips to help you carry your resolution out through the end of the year and turn it into a lifestyle change to live a stronger, healthier you in 2016.
Stick to one resolution. Don’t over-complicate things. Make just one clear, concise resolution you can focus on for the year and you’ll increase your chances of success.
Be specific. Making vague goals is a common mistake people make. Set a specific, measurable goal, such as “I want to lose 20 pounds by August.”
Make a resolution you can do anywhere. Just because you want to get fit in 2016 doesn’t mean you have to go to a gym or own expensive fitness equipment to workout. You can do bodyweight exercises in your home, hotel room, or virtually anywhere, and these don’t require any fitness equipment. If you want to add an extra challenge, invest in a set of lightweight (5-10lb) dumbbells or kettlebells.
Establish a routine. On average, it takes 21 days to create a habit. Planning out a daily routine will help you stay on track and get into the habit of exercising regularly.
Make a schedule. Take some time to think through your schedule and choose a time for your workouts that you can keep consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. If you plan to workout in the mornings (recommended because you’ll have more energy to get through the day), you must also plan to go to bed earlier the night before.
Focus on one small change at a time. Big goals are overwhelming, but try breaking your resolution down into smaller goals or changes you can make over time to help you accomplish your one big goal.
Find a workout buddy. Having a friend to workout with you will give you the accountability you need to keep going. If you plan to meet up for a workout at a set time, you’re less likely to back out if you know someone is counting on you to be there. Choose a friend who has similar goals as you and isn’t too far ahead of you on his or her own fitness journey.
Track your progress. The best resolution is measurable. Use a calendar, journal, or app to track your progress and evaluate your accomplishments throughout the year.
Visualize the end result. Keep your eyes on the prize and visualize the end result. When you feel discouraged or lack motivation, remind yourself why you made this resolution in the first place.
Celebrate the milestones. It’s easy to become discouraged at some point on your journey. Ward of discouragement and take time to appreciate the progress you make along the way. While your goal for the year may be to lose a certain amount of weight, take time to celebrate the small milestones along the way. Track your weight loss at the end of each week and be proud of your accomplishment in moving toward your goal.