Whether your New Years’s resolutions are to quit a bad habit, hit the gym more often, eat healthier, or to better yourself as a person; this guide is for you! Here are some helpful tips to keep you on track in 2015.
1. Avoid “all or nothing” mentality
This is a negative way of thinking because you are more likely to give up when things don’t go exactly as planned. If you miss a day at the gym or end up eating some junk food it should not be an excuse to take the rest of the week off. Remember that anything is better than nothing. Focus on the positives and always try your best. If things don’t go exactly as you planned, keep trying!
2. Remember that you can make resolutions at any time
The first day of January is not the only day of the year you can implement changes. If you think of something in March or June that you would like to accomplish, start as soon as you can! Don’t set arbitrary dates to start bettering yourself when you could be doing it now.
3. Delete or modify unrealistic resolutions
If you have made an unrealistic resolution, cross it out or modify it! For example, the resolution to lose a certain number of pounds is not always realistic. While losing weight is a realistic resolution, setting a specific number for yourself may end up making you feel like a failure even if you are on the right track. Depending on the amount of weight you are looking to lose, the scale is not always the best indicator of success because muscle weighs more than fat. A more realistic goal could be based on physical changes such as losing a pants size or gaining more muscle definition.
Another unrealistic resolution might be something like “run 5k every day”. While this can be a realistic resolution if you are a regular runner, many people who are inactive make goals like this because they like the idea of running every day. Most people will burn themselves out quickly if they go from a sedentary lifestyle to trying to run 5k each day. A more realistic resolution might be doing regular walks and/or joining a couch to 5k program. Try to make resolutions that you can stick to for a full year, not just January!
4. Keep yourself motivated
Regardless of what you have resolved to do, motivation is key. In regards to healthy living, I find that reading health articles and learning more about nutrition helps keep me motivated and on track. Buy a few books on health to read before bed, subscribe to more health websites (like this one!), follow more health pages on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Continuous education is a great way to keep up to date and motivated about health and nutrition!
If you are looking for exercise motivation there is a whole assortment of YouTube videos made specifically for that purpose! One of my favorite motivational videos is actually the Blogilates Bodypop video. You can also find all sorts of motivational videos and music mashups on YouTube. Personally I find that watching superhero movies and other action movies helps motivate me to be more active. I also often listen to movie soundtracks and anime opening songs when I run, its my nerd motivation! Joining a gym class or fitness group is another great way to keep yourself motivated.
6. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal to document aspects of your life can be very helpful. If you are trying to eat healthier you could use the journal to document your daily meals. If you keep detailed enough records a journal can tell you a lot about yourself such as when you are most likely to binge eat or revert to an old habit. Using this information you can then avoid those certain ‘trigger’ situations. This can be used for other aspects of health as well. For example, a period log such as the app P tracker can help women keep track of their cycle. This is especially helpful for women who experience PMS symptoms and hormonal migraines.
Journals that keep track of workouts is also very helpful as it keeps you accountable and also helps you plan what type of work out you do each day. The Primal Blueprint 90-Day Journal is a great journal to keep track of both meals and work outs. I would recommend it for anyone who follows strength training routines as it contains lots of space to record sets and reps for each day.
6. Remember that lasting changes take time
Don’t have unrealistic expectations of yourself. You don’t have to completely change your habits overnight. For many people quitting a habit cold turkey never works out well. If your new years resolution was to stop drinking coffee or smoking, try cutting back before you eliminate it entirely. This will make you less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms that will make you more likely to relapse. Making gradual changes will help you stick with them in the long run. Be patient with yourself and keep working towards your goals!
7. Avoid transforming your habits
Some people quit one habit but pick up another. For example, some people will ‘quit’ coffee but drink the exact same amount of black tea in its place (which still contains caffeine). This isn’t really quitting a habit but transforming it. I am just as guilty of this. I used to have a bad habit of biting my nails and fingers until I got braces and could no longer do it. But instead of stopping I changed to biting my lips. It is much easier to transform a habit than it is to quit entirely. These habits can actually be compulsions which is why they are so hard to break! When trying to quit a habit be on the look out for signs you are transforming it, and if you are having difficulty breaking the habit try reading this guide. I recommend a few minutes of meditation whenever you catch yourself in the act!
What resolutions did you make this year?
Let me know in the comments below!