Don't Give Up Now: 25 Strategies to Help You Keep Those Resolutions from Don't Give Up Now: 25 Strategies to Help You Keep Those Resolutions

Don't Give Up Now: 25 Strategies to Help You Keep Those Resolutions

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Ravi Bangaroo

Don't Give Up Now: 25 Strategies to Help You Keep Those Resolutions

It may be early in the month of January, but we are here to check in on your New Year’s resolutions. We spoke with doctors, nutritionists, and healthy eating experts about how to make your resolutions stick by introducing and maintaining healthy habits. 

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Be Realistic with Weight Loss

“Set a realistic weight-loss goal of about half a pound to two pounds per week,” said Amanda Foti, registered dietitian for Selvera Wellness. “Then, rather than focusing on the weight loss, focus on the behavior goals. For example, focusing on doing three exercise classes per week and bringing your lunch to work every day will likely result in seeing some weight loss. Simply saying, ‘I will eat better and exercise more’ doesn’t allow you to measure your progress. Write down your goal and back it up with a specific strategy.”

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Build on Successes

“There’s nothing wrong with starting with small goals and then building on them as you get success,” said Lindsey Mcilvena, medical doctor specializing in lifestyle medicine. “So many people quit altogether because their goals required change that was too drastic, and too fast. For example, if an hour workout is too tall an order, start with 10 minutes three times a day.”

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Celebrate Your Accomplishments

“All work and no play can be no fun and feel like punishment. If you’re working hard and not rewarding yourself, your determination and motivation will wane,” warned Annie Lawless, creator of BLAWNDE and co-founder of Suja Juice. “Treating yourself when you reach mini goals is a great way to incentivize yourself to keep moving forward because you have something to look forward to when you crush your next goal. The same way you celebrate friends and colleagues for their achievements, celebrate your own achievements as a result of your hard work and appreciate yourself for making your best life happen.”

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Do a Little More Every Time

“Walk for 10 more minutes,” Mcilvena said. “If you’re already doing 30, go for 40; if you’re not walking at all, start with 10. Along with healthy eating habits, daily movement is one of the most powerful prescriptions for health. Start where you are and add on 10 minutes from there, and unless you happen to love running for exercise, walking is all you need for a total body health boost.”

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Don’t Let Willpower Get the Best of You

“Understand that willpower is like a muscle,” explained celebrity fitness trainer Jorge Cruise. “It’s strongest in the morning but can get depleted throughout the day. Make sure when you are trying something new to do it when your willpower is strongest, otherwise it is easier to give up or give in to temptation.”

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Don’t Sit as Much

“Stand more and try taking a lap around the office every once in a while or stand up during a phone call,” Cruise said. “Anything to get your blood flowing.”

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Get Enough Sleep to Stay Focused

“Our body releases stress hormones that promote fat storage and inflammation in the body and all sorts of chemical processes are interfered with when we are low in sleep,” Lawless said. “Making sure to stay well rested will keep you energized and mentally equipped to tackle your goals every day.”

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Get Out of The All or Nothing Trap

“Many people swing from total deprivation to complete over-indulgence,” Mcilvena said. “If this is something you’ve done in the past, try to work on recognizing small efforts as meaningful and significant. Every good choice we make matters, even if it’s a small one.”

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Grab a Buddy

“Have an accountability partner,” Cruise recommended. “Trying to go at things alone is difficult. Whether you have someone who is working towards the same or similar goal, or just someone who is aware of what you are working towards and is there to support you will help you be more successful. It’s a lot harder to cheat or give up when you know someone else is watching.”

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Inspire Someone Else to Join

“If walking or working out is one of your goals, enlist a friend, spouse, or co-worker to do it with,” Mcilvena said. “Not only does it make it more fun, but it helps you avoid motivation burnout, and it’s easier to skip it if you haven’t made plans with someone else.”

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Kick the Sugar

“Cut the white sugar,” Lawless suggested. “Added sugar is such an addictive drug and leads to obesity, overeating, diabetes, mood disorders, hormonal imbalances, disturbed sleep, inflammation, low immunity, and so much more. By cutting out white sugar, we also cut out so many processed junk foods like candy, cakes, packaged snacks, energy bars, or drinks that harm our health. Sticking to natural sources like fruit, raw honey, pure maple syrup, and, my favorite, coconut sugar will keep your blood sugar much more stable and be a lot easier for your body to digest, assimilate, and eliminate.”

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Make Self-Care a Priority in 2016

“The more you take time for yourself, the more you’ll be energized to show up for the people in your life you care most about,” Mcilvena said. “Sit in nature, do breathing exercises, take long luxurious baths — it does not make you a selfish person, it makes you healthier. Doctor’s orders!”

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

“Work on making one change at a time,” Cruise said. “Trying to get fit, save money, make more time for friends, etc. all at one time can be overwhelming and lead to you abandoning your goals. Master one thing first, then move on to the next. Not everything has to happen right away. Prioritize and go from there.”

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Reduce Stress Through Daily Tasks

“Park in the furthest parking spot at the mall or grocery store: It’s a simple way to get a few more steps in that day,” Cruise said. “Plus, you will reduce stress from having to fight for the best spot!”

Re-Organize Your Refrigerator

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Re-Organize Your Refrigerator

“Throw out the foods you know shouldn’t be in there, or at least move them to the back,” Cruise said. “Put fruit and veggies in sight so they grab your attention when you open the door.”

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Reward Yourself

“Set short term goals, such as buying a new book if you avoid soda all week; set long-term goals, too, if you stick with your walking goals for the next two months, take a weekend getaway,” Mcilvena said. “Rewarding yourself can help keep up motivation as well as giving you something to look forward to.”

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Set Reminders

“Remind yourself of your goals daily,” Cruise said. “Put them on a post it note and stick it to your bathroom mirror so you see it every day. Just writing it in a notebook and never looking at it again makes it easy to forget… Out of sight, out of mind. Seeing your goals (and even better, the reasoning behind why you want to change what you want to change) will keep you focused and motivated.”

Share Your Resolutions and Goals

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Share Your Resolutions and Goals

Be open with your friends and family about what your resolutions are, that way you have more than one person holding you accountable. “If you go it alone, you don’t have accountability on your side,” Lawless said. “By letting your loved ones and friends into your journey and putting your resolutions out there, they can hold you accountable by asking you how it’s going, showing up for workouts with you, sharing healthy meals with you, or whatever it may be that will help you achieve your goals. Nobody wants to ‘fail’ or have to tell others they couldn’t see something through, so having that social accountability will help keep you motivated to push through.”

Shop in the Right Mindset

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Shop in the Right Mindset

“Don’t go to the grocery story hungry: You end up buying more than you need and it’s usually not the healthiest choices,” Cruise advised. “Eat first, then go with a specific list.”

Start Now

Start Now

“I don’t mean just right this second, I mean any time. If you fall off your plan, or don’t get started until February, March, etc. because you have a lot going on in your life… Don’t lose sight of your resolutions,” Lawless said. “Just because they’re New Year’s resolutions, doesn’t mean it’s January or never — start now wherever you are within your year and repeat that mantra when you feel like your resolutions have gotten away from you.”

Track Your Food Intake

Track Your Food Intake

“This creates a sense of accountability and allows you to reflect on your food choices,” Foti said. “If you have to write it down, you may think twice about what you order for dinner or if you need that extra cookie.”

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Visualize the End Result

“If you focus on the big picture benefits of sticking to your resolutions instead of the hard work involved in getting there, it will make every little sacrifice seem worth it,” Lawless said. “If your goal is to lose weight and you visualize yourself feeling confident in a bikini at the beach, that image can help you push through workouts and healthy meal prep days you may otherwise bail on.”

Watch Your Inner Dialogue

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Watch Your Inner Dialogue

“Notice any negative self-talk that you have — ‘It’s no use,’ ‘I’ll never reach my goals,’ ‘I’ll fail just like before,’” Mcilvena said. “Does any of that sound familiar? Just be aware of it, without judgement. Spending time talking down to ourselves makes it less likely we’ll reach our goals. Start to observe the self-talk and see what happens.”

Weigh Yourself Regularly

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Weigh Yourself Regularly

“Studies show that simply doing this can result in weight loss,” Foti said. “Each morning stepping on the scale serves as a reminder of your health goals and informs you of your progress.”

Write Down Specific Goals

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Write Down Specific Goals

“Make your goals specific and break them down into small, attainable chunks,” Cruise recommended. “Instead of ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to be healthier,’ try setting smaller, more realistic goals that you can work towards. For example: ‘I want to lose a total of 25 pounds, but I want to lose the first five pounds in the next two weeks.’ Setting smaller, more attainable goals helps you reach milestones quicker and keeps you motivated to reach the end goal. It may take some time to lose those 25 pounds, but if you break that down into smaller milestones, you will feel more rewarded and encouraged to keep going.”

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Don't Give Up Now: 25 Strategies to Help You Keep Those Resolutions

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