Making your resolutions stick

As we enter a new year, many people use the opportunity to start afresh. They resolve to be better and to conduct themselves differently in the new year. This often translates to undertaking a new fitness regime or super strict diet designed to melt away the pounds.

However, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of people are successful in keeping their new year’s resolutions. In fact, the average person will only last two weeks on their new regime. Read on to find out how you can stick to your exercise and diet-related resolutions, and achieve the fitness level of your dreams!

  1. Do not go to extremes: It is tempting to throw yourself into an intensive diet and exercise regime in the hopes that you will get the best results. However, if this routine is far removed from your previous habits, you are only setting yourself up for failure. If you currently do not exercise at all, promising yourself that you will work out for an hour every single day will not work.Instead, start small and work your way up. Start off with one or two sessions per week and aim to gradually increase that. The same goes for diet – do not hope that a quick fix fad diet will solve your problems. If your diet currently consists of lots of fast food, do not attempt a week-long juice fast. Start with basic habits such as eating protein with every meal, eating every three to four hours, cutting back on processed food, and eating a serve of vegetables with each meal.
  2. Lose the all-or-nothing mentality: It is tempting to think that you should throw in the towel if you make one small slip-up. However, it is important to be realistic. Life will throw you setbacks and the difference between succeeding and failing is how you manage them. Create an action plan in case you have to miss a workout, or if you have to eat an off-plan meal. It is one day in the grand scheme of things, and it will not reverse your progress. Get right back on track and remind yourself of why you resolved to do things differently this time around.
  3. Change your thinking: Do not think of your new endeavour as a temporary diet or short-term intensive exercise regime. This is a complete lifestyle change you are undertaking. The idea is to stick to this way of living for the rest of your life, which is again why we don’t want it to be too restrictive. There is no point in putting in a great deal of hard work for a short time only – the second you go back to eating ‘normally’, you will undo all the positive changes you’ve made.
  4. Make sure your goals are SMART: It can be easy to come up with , and subsequently abandon, vague goals. Ensure your goals are measurable and have specific steps to be reached. In the same note, do not make too many resolutions at once. Stick to one or two new habits you would like to create, and focus all of your attention on them. You can only realistically change one behaviour at a time.
  5. Create a support network: Tell your close friends and family about your goals, especially if they have set similar resolutions for themselves. Having someone to hold you accountable greatly increases your chances of sticking to the resolution. At the very least, if you  do not feel like making your goals public, write your goals down and keep them in a place you will regularly see them.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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