Sticking to It: 5 Tips for Developing an Attainable New Years Resolution And Reaching Your Target Weight
Christmas is steadily approaching, but another big day is also on the horizon: New Year's. While New Year's is a great time to celebrate the year coming to a close and ring in the new one with friends, it can also be stressful as you search for a resolution. You want to make a goal that you can be proud of achieving, but you also don’t want to be unrealistic with what you can attain. Here are some tips for developing a New Year's resolution that you can stick with for 2014:
1. Don’t pick something you know you’re going to hate. If the idea of running a mile makes you nauseous, don’t resolve to run a marathon in 2014. You won’t magically begin to love running just because you made the resolution. Think of something that’s more up your alley so you won’t be miserable trying to reach your goals.
2. Know your limits. If you’re busy with a job, kids or other responsibilities, don’t resolve to work out at the gym for two hours everyday in 2014. That’ll last about three days and you’ll just get discouraged with the huge burden you’ve put on yourself to do something that’s not realistic for you. Try something more doable, like working out at least three to four days a week.
3. Don’t underestimate yourself. Along with knowing your limits, you also want to make a resolution that is going to make you push yourself. Maybe you already work out three times a week. Making a resolution to maintain that habit isn’t pushing yourself. While you certainly don’t want a goal that’s impossible, you also don’t want to play it too safe and not make any new progress in the upcoming year.
4. Be accountable. The most sure-fire way to have a resolution fail is to keep it to yourself. In fact, research shows that people who write down their goals, share them with someone and send that person weekly updates on those goals are 33 percent more successful in accomplishing them than those who don’t. Let a good friend know about your resolution so you can be held accountable, or even consider coming up with something you can do together so that you’ll both benefit from the resolution.
5. Be specific. Don’t resolve to “lose weight” or “look better” in 2014. What does that look like exactly? What is your target weight? Are you going to lose 20 pounds or 5 percent body fat? What weight do you need to be for good health? And how will you do it? Perhaps you going to cut certain foods from your diet or take a group fitness class twice a week. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s specific. According to John Norcross of the University of Scranton, “if you can’t measure it, it’s not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions.” You don’t want a vague resolution. You want a tangible goal that you tangibly achieved through your hard work and commitment.