After having enjoyed the holiday season and getting much needed rest, the beginning of the new year is a great time for setting goals and resolutions for the coming year.
With our body rested and our mind clear, we can think about what is most important and set corresponding goals.
For many people, weight loss and health are number one priorities. If one of your resolutions is to lose weight this year, be sure to read these 10 tips for sticking to your new year’s weight loss resolution.
1. Learn from the past.
If you had set the same weight loss resolution many times in the past, and did not follow through then, think about why that happened. It is important to analyze the reasons why it did not work in the past, because those same situations are likely to happen again in your life, and you need to have contingency plans so that this time, you can continue on with your weight loss progress.
2. Be sensible.
Trying to lose weight can be a difficult journey with a number of highs and lows. However, the reason why so many people simply give up is that they set themselves a target that is extremely difficult to achieve. For example, it may be unrealistic for you to avoid chocolate entirely straight away. Instead, make life easier for yourself by cutting down how often you eat it at first, before cutting it out completely. Achieve small goals first (eat chocolate every other day), then make your goals bigger (eat chocolate once week).
3. Get a plan sorted.
Planning ahead will allow you to make better decisions, and prevent you from making spur of the moment decisions. For example, if you plan out how and what you will make for lunch every day, you will not be tempted to stop at McDonald’s as you are driving by around lunch time because you did not have any plan and you were hungry.
Work out your diet plan, look at your exercise plan, work out what you can do when temptation strikes or when you do not feel like carrying on, and know how to resolve those problems immediately. By working all of this out in advance and being prepared, you can better prevent yourself from taking actions that sabotage your diet.
4. Let others know.
Letting friends and family know that you are planning on changing your diet and/or exercise schedule is a good way to keep yourself accountable for your results, now that your resolution is public. Weight loss is also easier if you can get somebody to join you, such as a spouse or family member, so you can enjoy the same meals and even exercise routines together.
5. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Are you a morning person, who has tons of energy in the morning and would do better exercising in the morning? Or would you rather exercise at night to give yourself some alone time and relieve stress from your day?
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to choose the right diet and exercise program, that are suited to your particular needs and personality. This includes knowing your limits with regard to the amount of exercise you can do in accordance with your fitness levels and your daily schedule.
Choose a realistic weight loss program that you can continue based on your strengths and weaknesses.
6. Use rewards.
We are more likely to carry on if we use a rewards system after reaching certain targets. Once again be sensible about things and grade the size of the reward so that it corresponds to how difficult the target was to attain. Make your reward something that then helps you to reach your next target or something such as a CD, book, or anything else that is non-fattening.
7. Keep a diary.
When trying to lose weight, we are often guilty of feeling that we are getting nowhere when in reality we may very well be making slow progress. By keeping a diary, and noting progress on a daily basis, we can then look back to see how far we have come on those days when we feel like we are stuck in a rut.
Keep in mind that while weight loss is one important goal, exercising more and eating healthier are equally important goals that ultimately lead to weight loss, and should never be dismissed. Make sure to count any of these as progress in your weight loss journey.
8. Do not fret about mistakes.
People are prone to giving up on resolutions as soon as they feel as if they have broken it by making a mistake. This in itself is madness because why should you undo all of that hard work and progress that you have made just because you did not exercise as much as you normally do? When you fall off a bicycle, really the best and logical thing to do is to get straight back on and keep on learning how to ride a bicycle! The same idea applies to your weight loss.
9. Be patient.
Forget the idea of seeing a difference in just a couple of days. Instead, view the first week as being a time where your body is merely adjusting to this new regime and be prepared to wait a month before this new way of eating and doing exercise becomes the norm and is done without thinking. If you lose weight faster, that is great, but if it takes longer, you won’t be so frustrated.
10. Never give up.
So you are 6 weeks into the new year and your attempt at losing weight is not going to plan, so what do you do? The answer is simple, set your mind to the next day as being your very own January 1st and start fresh. You will be surprised at how easy it is to get your weight loss resolution back on track.