It’s almost that time of year–the time when many people make New Year’s resolutions, often only to find themselves struggling to stick to them by the time February rolls around. Of course, one of the most common resolutions is to lose weight. This is something that we know all about! So here are five tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions–especially if you want to lose weight!
5. Be very specific about your resolution.
It’s one thing to say, “I want to lose weight.” It’s another to say, “I want to lose 5 lb. by February 14 so I fit into my sexy red dress on Valentine’s Day!” Get specific about exactly how much weight you want to lose and by what date you want to shed the pounds. Remember, safe weight loss is about 2-3 lb. per week. Any more than that is unhealthy for your body!
4. Post your resolution where you’ll see it daily.
Write your resolution on a Post-It note, and stick it on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, or your nightstand to remind yourself of your goals each day. Stick one one your computer or cubicle wall at work, too. Also write your goal date on all your calendars. It helps if you break down your final goal into mini-goals that you can write on your calendar each month or even each week. These constant reminders will keep you focused and on track.
3. Replace your bad habit with a good habit.
Weight loss isn’t just about NOT doing things (like not eating cookies); it’s about DOING things that promote weight loss (like eating an apple for a snack instead). Think about all the things you can substitute for old behaviors. Instead of eating a bag of chips, have some carrot sticks with 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter. Instead of just sitting in front of the TV after work, do some pushups or planks during the commercials! Instead of eating a bowl of ice cream each night, replace it with a cup of blueberries and a dollop of fat-free whip cream. It’s all about “out with the old, in with the new”!
2. Reward yourself with treats that don’t sabotage your goals.
So, you’ve lost 2 lb. and want to celebrate–don’t reach for a brownie sundae that’ll pack the pounds back on and ramp up your sugar cravings in the days following. Think of something fun that costs the same as whatever treat food you’re inclined to splurge on, and then spoil yourself with a choice that’s calorie-free. Bath oils, a new shade of lipstick, a movie date (sans buttered popcorn!) with your best friend, an album by your favorite artist–all these are ways to reward yourself without sabotaging your weight loss goals.
1. Think positively!
Whenever you notice yourself thinking discouraging or negative thoughts, ask yourself, “Would I be saying these same things to a friend?” Sometimes we’re nicer to others than we are to ourselves. Most likely, we would encourage a friend to stick to her goals; we wouldn’t tell her it’s too hard or that she’ll never get there. So, extend the same kindness to yourself by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Take a moment to imagine how great it’s going to feel when you hit your goal! Visualize the changes you are working toward. You WILL get there! Don’t give up. You are WORTH every effort!
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