25 Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions from 25 Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

25 Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

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25 Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re one of the 45 percent of American who usually set New Year’s Resolutions, you certainly want to be among the only 8 percent who actually stick with them. Regardless of what you wish to achieve in 2017, the tips for not giving up are fairly common.

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Know “why”

“Most people are not emotionally connected to their resolution,” John Kalinowski, life coach and mindfulness experts, says. “They want something but don’t really know why.” Getting fit is always great but you have to understand why it’s what you need. The “why” is the strongest motivational factor. Once you have the answer, the rest falls into place, he adds.

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Don’t wait until January 1

Use money as an incentive at the very least. Gym owners and executives say the best time to save money when joining a gym is to do it in December. That’s when they offer promotions. You can save more if you sign a longer membership contract, which you can use as motivation to keep going. Also, starting now means you’ll have enough time to adjust, you will have less work to do later, and you’ll end the year on a high note.

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Use the magic word

Once you decide for yourself that you want be more active, ask a friend to go with you. You most certainly know someone whose resolution is to get fit. You are not alone in this. Ask a professional for help if you feel that will make you more accountable. Pay a trainer to tell you what to do. You’re not going to want to waste money, so, chances are, you will do what s/he says.

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Do it for you

This one may be obvious but it has to be said. No one cares more about your mental and physical health than you. Your body certainly doesn’t care about anybody else. Feel responsible towards yourself and no one else. Ask yourself whether what you’re trying to achieve is important to you and you only. It’s OK to be selfish like that.

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Wear the right clothes

First and foremost, you should be comfortable. It’s important to wear sports clothing that doesn’t hamper your full range of motion. If you care about fashion, then spend a little more for gym wear. “If that’s going to motivate you, then it’s worth it,” Travis Hawkins, fitness professional, pro triathlete and coach, says. Stay away from 100 percent cotton clothes. It doesn’t dry fast, thus your sweat will literally stick on you.

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Try a personal trainer

An experienced professional can help you reach your goals. A trainer’s job is their job compared to a hobby for you. He or she certainly knows what an effective for the long run workout program should include and won’t forget anything. Personal trainers also provide encouragement and help you stay focused. Last but not least, you pay them so now you have an obligation to not waste your money.

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Reward yourself

“Rewards are very important, but I don't see a point of ‘cheat days,’” Julie Melillo, Life Coach in Manhattan, says. “A cheat day is going in the opposite direction of your goal. Instead, I have clients choose small daily rewards and larger weekly and monthly rewards to celebrate the actions they are taking on a daily basis. If you love shopping, buy yourself new sweatpants to work out in. Binge-watch your favorite show or get an hour-long massage.

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Have fewer goals

Less is more. Having a list of three goals as opposed to 15 doesn’t mean you’re not ambitious. It means you’re smart. “I ask [my clients] what they can 100% accomplish for the following week, and to only commit to those tasks,” Melillo says. “My clients have to complete at least 80% of what they select to continue working with me, so this is very important.” Finishing tasks in order to feel a sense of satisfaction is crucial to moving forward.

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Start small

Start small with one objective first. Why would you want to stress over more things that usual? If your wish is to get fit, then just start with walking more or riding a bike to work, if possible. This habit will eventually translate to going to the gym a couple of days a week before you find yourself there almost every day. Do the same with your eating habits. Don’t go “cold turkey” on the desserts. Replace them with a smoothie perhaps.  Go one day at a time.

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Prioritize your goals

The more you have to do, the smaller the chance you’re going to complete all goals. “I ask the clients what we need to do first, or what they feel ready to tackle, or not tackle, and they always have a clear answer,” Melillo says. Rank your goals in order of importance or time. This approach will literally give you a better view of how realistic your resolutions are and force you to improve your strategy.

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Set measurable goals

Numbers don’t lie, right? General goals don’t work because you don’t really know if you’re making any progress. Besides, they are way too open-minded. Don’t set a goal along the lines of “I’m going to get fit.” Instead, be determined to lose three inches off your waistline or lose 10 pounds in a month. Vagueness is one of the most common mistakes people make.

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Monitor your progress

That’s who you will know when you’re close to your goal and when you’re regressed. “We never control the end result, only the actions we take,” Melillo says. “But it is up to us to adjust and change when one approach isn't working.” It’s important to know your place so you can take adequate and timely measures. Seeing that you are doing better and better is the best kind of motivation - you now have proof you can do it.

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Change your strategy

Keeping track of your advancement is important and also intuitive, Kalinowski says. Use your body as guide. Bodies get accustomed to a new habit and may stop responding. This means you have to change your strategy but not your goal. Don’t keep the same gym routine, for example. You’ll easily get bored and go off track.

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Learn patience

Give yourself enough time. “Patience is a great opportunity to generate happiness,” Kalinowski says. Use the time you have to spend waiting to be grateful for the progress you’re made. A big problem is people aiming to do too much and achieve it too soon or all at once, Kalinowski adds. You’re not going to suddenly eat 1,200 calories a day, watch no TV and go to the gym every day, so don’t even try because you’re only sabotaging yourself.

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Give it a try

Set a trial period. Melillo and her clients break the ultimate goal down into daily tasks with a weekly strategy. “We fine-tune and tweak plans every week, depending on specific feedback from both the client and how the approach is working,” she adds. “This lets us change course very quickly towards the achieving the goal the fastest way possible.” So don’t engrave your plan in stone thinking that one deviation will ruin your whole strategy and, therefore, you have to wait until 2018 to start over

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Avoid stressors

Exercise and anger don’t match, a new international study says. There is a lot of scientific proof suggesting that working out on regular basis helps with preventing anxiety disorders and heart problems, but this may not be true if you’re already upset. When your body is under stress, even if you don’t realize what’s happening, it releases cortisol, which is a muscle-killer hormone. It tells your brain to store fat while it breaks muscle tissue.

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Don’t aim for “never” or “always”

You’ve probably heard personal trainers say that some movement is better than none at all. The same principle applies to your resolutions. Don’t fall into a binge-eating phase because you had dessert after dinner. The difference is thousands of calories and a broken spirit. You don’t have to skip the gym all together because you don’t have an hour and a half to spare – you can work out in just 15 minutes and get better results.

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Be nice to yourself

What would you do if your best friend was struggling to stay on track with his or her new diet and exercise plan? Tell yourself the same words you’d use to encourage your friend. Instead of getting too caught up into your own flaws, talk yourself out of them. Don’t judge yourself. Some stress can be productive, but making yourself feel like a failure is very discouraging,” Kalinowski says.

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Make short-term goals

If the 12 months in a calendar year are its “phases,” then the one big goal you have has several stages before it’s fully achieved. If you want to get healthy in 2017, then set a goal to lose five pounds each month. Another way is to incorporate one healthy habit into your daily routine every month. Going at this rate, your 2018 resolutions are likely not going to have anything to do with fitness because you’ll be in awesome shape by then.

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Know you won’t be perfect

There will be days when you are too stressed or too tired to stay on schedule. Know that you can get back on track right away, Kalinowski says. “You don’t have to wait for Monday.” The sooner you start up again, the sooner you’ll feel better and the less overwhelmed,” he adds. Anticipate the problems so you know how to handle them when they arise in order to stay on track with your bigger plan.

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Plan exact workouts

Going to the gym with a clear workout routine planned out is much better than wondering what exercise should be next. The ladder is very discouraging and can create the misconception that you’ve done enough. Having a plan saves you time. Block off a certain time of the day for a quick workout the same way you’d do if you had a job interview. If your goal is not related to your fitness levels, use that time to research on what you need to be prepared for. Set yourself up for success.

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Imagine you’ve succeeded

“This is wonderful,” Anna Tsui, Transformational Life Coach. Talk about your goal and create plans once it's been achieved. Imagine the best case scenario and how you’ll feel once you’re there. For example, you want to lose weight and have more energy so you can play with your grandkids. What would that be like? “Positive motivators are good for achieving long-term goals,” Tsui says.

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Avoid absolutes

Never go “cold turkey” with your diet or exercising. You risk injuries, burnout and stress (and that can cause weight gain). “If you lose 20 pounds fast, you will gain 10 back, I guarantee it,” Dr. Lisa R. Young, Ph.D. R.D., C.D.N., a nationally recognized nutritionist, says. If you’ve never been on a diet, or they never worked for you, you can start with one small change. “If I have to say one thing, that would be watching your portions.”

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Tell others what you’re doing

Tell supportive people. Be smart about it. Make your goals as public as possible if your social circle is made of nice people who will encourage you. Tell friends what your intentions are. Announce them on Facebook and Twitter. Post pictures of your progress on Instagram. Compete with a friend and see who will achieve his or her resolutions first.

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Tie new habit to existing behavior

Making realistic New Year’s resolutions has a lot to do with creating a new habit. The best way is to do it daily and tie it to an existing behavior. “It’s easier to tag a new habit to one already in place,” Kalinowski says. If you want to jog more, do it while you’re out for a walk; if you aim to floss more, do it after you brush your teeth; if you want to work out more, get up during commercials on TV and do an exercise.

25 Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions